In a recent work, presented by the American Association for Cancer Research, when African-Americans received counseling in regards to their diet they attempted to make changes. Once the participants were told how eating healthier and exercising more could lessen their chances of getting cancer or heart disease, they ate more fruit. But unfortunately, they didn’t eat more vegetables or incorporated exercise into their habits.
The goal of the work was to test the notion of information dispersal when it came to health. If people knew that risky behavior could result in developing diseases, would they make a point to change?
In the month long study, 212 participants in Philadelphia were split into two groups: one that was counseled about multiple disease risks, the other only about cardiovascular disease.
Researchers believed because of economic factors, the participants could not afford to join gyms, lived in rough neighborhoods where riding a bike or jogging were not safe and that eating fruits were less time consuming than cooking vegetables.
“What we found out in the baseline assessment, and through the interactive counseling sessions, is that people did have some idea that they should eat fruits and vegetables and should be active,” Melanie Jefferson of the Medical University of South Carolina, the lead researcher said.