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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

South Carolina: Researchers Embark on Nutritious Eating with Soul Study to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among African American Adults

Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy, an associate professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, is leading the Nutritious Eating with Soul (NEW Soul) Study through her Behavioral Research in Eating Lab in collaboration with colleagues from her department and the Prevention Research Center as well as the UofSC School of Medicine and Rush Medical College. They published the design and methods for the study, which is supported by a $3.3 million National Institutes of Health grant, in Contemporary Clinical Trials.

“Previous research has found that African American vegetarians and vegans have a significantly lower body mass index and risk of hypertension compared to those who have omnivorous diets,” says Dr. Turner-McGrievy. “The goal of this study is to examine the impact of adoption of plant-based diets on cardiovascular health.”

The NEW Soul study is a two-year randomized clinical trial that compares culturally adapted soul food vegan versus omnivorous diets among African American adults who are at risk for heart disease. Working with local soul food restaurants and chefs, Dr. Turner-McGrievy and her team are delivering two culturally tailored behavioral nutrition interventions (a vegan diet with minimally-processed whole foods and a low-fat omnivorous diets) to participants – examining the impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Participants include African Americans with overweight or obesity recruited from the Midlands of South Carolina. These individuals attend weekly group classes for six months, followed by another six months of bi-weekly meetings, and then monthly meetings for another year.

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