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Title: Perceptions of factors influencing the acquisition and consumption of health food in the Lower Mississippi Delta: Focus Group Findings

item Mcgee, Bernestine
item Richardson, Valerie
item Johnson, Glenda
item Thornton, Alma
item Johnson, Crystal
item Yadrick, Kathy
item Ndirangu, Murugi
item Goolsby, Susan
item Groves, Debra
item Simpson, Pippa
item Hyman, Edith
item Stigger, Flavelia
item Bogle, Margaret
item Kramer, Tim
item Strickland, Earline
item Mccabe Sellers, Beverly

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2006
Publication Date: 3/1/2008
Citation: McGee, B.B., Richardson, V., Johnson, G., Thornton, A., Johnson, C., Yadrick, K., Ndirangu, M., Goolsby, S., Groves, D., Simpson, P., Hyman, E., Stigger, F., Bogle, M.L., Kramer, T.R., Strickland, E., McCabe Sellers, B.J. 2008. Perceptions of factors influenceing the acquisition and consumption of health food in the Lower Mississippi Delta: Focus group findings. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 40(2):102-109.

Interpretive Summary: A series of 27 focus groups were held in the Lower Mississippi Delta counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi to identify perceptions of Delta residents in healthy food choices, food shopping, and behavioral change related to food and health. From the 225 participants in the groups, leading themes were identified from which to develop interventions using the community based participatory research approach. Future interventions developed using these themes have a greater probability of being effective and sustainable.

Technical Abstract: Our objective was to identify perceptions of Delta residents of acquisition and consumption of healthy foods and factors that influence their behavior to assist in planning sustainable nutrition interventions in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). Data were collected in focus group discussions using the topics healthy foods, shopping, and behavioral change. The study setting was nine counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The study population included 255 persons, 240 females and 15 males (18-60+ years of age), 176 African Americans, 73 Caucasians, 5 Hispanics, and 1 Asian, who participated in 27 focus group discussions. Data analyses were completed by general and specific content coding. Descriptive and interpretative summaries and emerging themes were identified for each topic. Common emerging themes for all three topics were health concerns and health as it relates to disease and family influence and personal preference. Healthy food themes included barriers associated with making healthy food choices and approaches to promote healthy eating. Shopping themes included economic factors, and availability and quality of fresh produce. Behavioral change themes included increased knowledge and skills and personal responsibility. Focus groups identified themes relevant to the development of community-based participatory interventions being developed in the LMD.