Men 4 Health



Men 4 Health (M4H) is a five-year study to design and implement an intervention to improve healthy eating and physical activity among African American men in Flint, Michigan.

African American men have higher incidences and death rates from a variety of cancers and other diseases associated with and exacerbated by being overweight or obese. Despite these poor health outcomes, few interventions have been developed to address obesity and related risk behaviors in African American men.

This study is designed to systematically develop a culturally, contextually and gender sensitive intervention that addresses the individual and social barriers to healthy eating and physical activity for urban African American men by building on resources in the African American community: men’s fraternal, civic and social organizations; community-based organizations and local businesses; and men’s families.

The specific aims of Men 4 Health are:

  1. Assess how urban African American men and their families perceive environmental and cognitive factors that influence their dietary quality and physical activity.
  2. Develop a conceptual model that describes how social, cultural, historical and structural factors influence health promotion and cancer risk for urban African American men.
  3. Develop a multi-level intervention to improve African American men’s rates of moderate and vigorous physical activity and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.

We are currently analyzing exploratory focus group data collected from African American men 35 and older and women in their lives living in Flint, Ypsilanti, and Detroit MI. The information from these focus groups will be used to inform the development of the intervention in Flint and in the other communities.

Community Steering Committee

  • Black Men for Social Change: Henry Gaines (committee chair)
  • University of Michigan School of Public Health: Julie Allen, Derek Griffith, Gyhandi Hill
  • Flint Odyssey House Inc., Health Awareness Center: E. Hill De Loney, Kent Key
  • YOUR Center: Bettina Campbell