Andrea King

Men 4 Health

The health of African American men and the rates of obesity among U.S. residents have both been deemed crises. Cancer is the second leading cause of death for African American men (CDC, 2006). African American men have poorer health than the rest of the U.S. population with higher incidence and mortality from a variety of diseases, particularly cancer, that are associated with and exacerbated by being overweight or obese, not engaging in recommended levels of physical activity, and not eating recommended number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
In Michigan, 65% of whites and 73.3% of African Americans are overweight or obese (BRFSS, 2009). More than 2 in 3 residents do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity, with rates varying somewhat by race/ethnicity: 69.1% for whites, 73% for African Americans, and 67.4% for Hispanics (BRFSS, 2009). African American men consume fewer servings of fruits and vegetables daily compared to women and men of other racial groups (BRFSS, 2009).Consequently, improving dietary quality and physical activity have become high priorities in the strategy to reduce the burden of cancer in the U.S. and in Michigan and are critical to the goal of eliminating cancer disparities. Though the overall and cancer-specific health outcomes of African American men have been identified as being particularly poor, few interventions have been developed to address cancer risk in this population.
Men 4 Health (Derek Griffith, Principal Investigator) is an ongoing research study of the Center on Men's Health Disparities (CMHD) at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. It is designed to understand and reduce cancer risk in urban African American men by increasing knowledge, readiness for change, and social and organizational supports promoting a healthy diet and physical activity. This project is funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society.

The objective of this study is to develop and evaluate a culturally, contextually and gender sensitive intervention to reduce cancer risk by explicitly addressing the individual and social barriers to healthy eating and physical activity experienced by urban African American men.
Specific Aim 1: Examine how social, cultural, historical and structural factors influence health promotion and cancer risk for urban African American men.
Specific Aim 2: Apply what the M4H research team has learned from our exploratory research conducted in an earlier phase of the M4H study, complementary research studies conducted by the CMHD, and other published research related to the objectives of this study to inform the development of an intervention.
Specific Aim 3: Pilot and evaluate a multi-level, community-based participatory research (CBPR) intervention to improve African American men's rates of physical activity and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables that builds on existing resources in men's lives and communities.

Qualitative and quantitative data derived from 26 Men 4 Health exploratory focus groups, quantitative and process data from related CMHD studies, literature reviews, and the insight of Men 4 Health Community Steering Committee members will be systematically used to inform the development of the Men 4 Health pilot intervention. Additional process and outcome evaluation data will be collected during the piloting of the intervention, the methods of which are still to be determined. This study will inform the development and refinement of a subsequent, large scale intervention trial that shall be proposed to the NIH.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Leading Causes of Death in Males United States, 2006. Retrieved from
2. Behaviors Risk Factors Surveillance System. (2009). Prevalence and Trends Data Michigan-2009 Retrieved from &qkey=4409&state=MI#OB

About Andrea
Andrea graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the department of Health Behavior and Health Education in April 2012. Upon completion of her Bachelor's of Science degree at the University of Michigan in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science, Andrea served as an AmeriCorps member at a community-based health center in Grand Rapids, MI. Andrea is from Battle Creek, MI and enjoys cooking, traveling, biking and time spent with family.