Fraternity Personal Health, Inspiring Transformation (FRAT PHIT): Type 2 diabetes nutrition and physical activity behaviors among African American men



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Purpose: African American (AA) men are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes (T2D). Effective T2D programs are those that recognize and leverage the protective benefits of brotherhoods or peer-to-peer networks of AA men. Previous researchers have engaged AA brotherhoods in T2D interventions, yet with focuses limited to barbershops and faith-based settings. New evidence suggests the need to include AA fraternities in research studies. This cross-sectional study was a means to understand how AA fraternal brotherhoods impact T2D health outcomes among members. Methods: A total of 177 individuals met the study criteria and were included in the analysis. Participant recruitment was via social media and email contact to leaders across five AA fraternities. Multiple linear regression analyses occurred to determine the relationship between fraternity, brotherhood, T2D personal and family history, risk perception, and T2D prevention behaviors. Results: The majority of the participants were not diagnosed with T2D (n = 161, 91.0%). The mean daily fruit and vegetable consumption was 14.06 (SD = 8.59) servings; and the mean weekly physical activity time was 218.34 (SD = 176.08) minutes. Brotherhood did not emerge as a significant factor in engaging AA in T2D preventive. However, the results suggest that brotherhood is high among AA fraternity members (accountability [M = 24.75, SD = 3.77], belonging [M = 23.21, SD = 4.81], solidarity [M = 17.33, SD 3.55], and shared social experiences [M = 13.08, SD 4.49]). Conclusion: The outcomes of this study suggest that AA fraternities have strong brotherhood, have resources to support health lifestyles, and are conscientious of health behaviors necessary to prevent T2D. Health educators have an opportunity to collaborate with AA fraternities to conduct research among members and could leverage their relationships to promote health behavior change with shared populations and communities of interest.



Brotherhood, Fraternity health