Kristie Lancaster , associate professor in nutrition, has embarked on a project called Faith-based Approaches in the Treatment of Hypertension (FAITH), a five-year trial funded by a $737,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. FAITH brings blood-pressure reduction strategies into the black communities through its churches. Lancaster is the co-principal investigator on this project with Gbenga Ogedegbe from NYU Langone Medical Center.
Lancaster’s project targets 400 men and women of African descent with hypertension. A treatment group will receive a blood pressure intervention consisting of 12 group classes and one-on-one motivational sessions run by church members. A control group, meanwhile, will receive group health classes focusing on other health topics, as well as literature on reducing blood pressure through healthy eating.
Lancaster believes that after six months, members in the treatment group will exhibit a drop in their blood pressure and will be eating more fruits and vegetables than those in her control group. Her research seeks to expand the existing literature on the effectiveness of using community-based settings to promote healthy lifestyle changes.