239215 Process and Outcome Results in Understanding Food Insecurity and Food Shopping Practices of Liberian women and their families in the U.S

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:00 AM

Danielle Nunnery , Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Jigna Dharod, PhD , Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Food insecurity, the inability to access sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy life, is a serious public health concern since it is related to poor physical and mental health outcomes. The study was carried out with Liberian mothers in Guilford County in order to understand: 1) prevalence and socio-demographic predictors of food insecurity; 2) common food shopping and budgeting practices. To assess food insecurity, an 18-item USDA Food Security scale was used while open ended questions with prompts were used to collect food shopping and related information. Middle-aged, Liberian women living in the research area were hired and trained to recruit participants and to assist in conducting the interviews. According to the pilot phase (n = 7 interviews) results, most of them were unemployed and relied mainly on SNAP benefits to maintain food supply. Occurrence of child hunger was found common among study participants. All the participants reported shopping in small ethnic stores to buy traditional food items such as frozen potato leaves, cassava flour and fish. The following optimal interviewer characteristics were identified, based on the process results: 1) familiarity with study area; 2) respected and known in the community; 3) ability to build trust with the participants; and 4) some prior formal work experience. It is important to build a pilot phase to train interviewers and develop a culturally appropriate questionnaire. Further research will help to better understand the prevalence and impact of child hunger on growth and well being of Liberian children upon resettlement.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe indicators of food insecurity among the Liberian community living in Guilford County, NC. 2.Describe steps involved in the development and implementation of a culturally appropriate qualitative questionnaire. 3.Assess food shopping and budgeting practices in relation to food insecurity among our study population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee interview process, training and implementation of the presented research. I am pursuing masters degree at the Unversity of North Carolina Greensboro and this research represents an integral part of my thesis work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.