248460 Social and physical environments as determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among African American men

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

Jonetta L. Johnson, MPH/PhD(c) , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Derek M. Griffith, PhD , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Katrina R. Ellis, MPH, MSW , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Julie Ober Allen, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Gyhandi L. Hill, BA , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Introduction. Most African American men consume only ⅓ of the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables (F&V). Low levels of F&V consumption among this population may be partially attributable to the social and physical conditions of the communities in which they grew up and currently live. This presentation examines how these conditions create a constellation of risk factors that may impede F&V consumption. Methods. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data from 7 exploratory focus groups conducted with 57 African American men and 8 exploratory focus groups conducted with 77 African American women in southeastern Michigan. All focus group participants were middle-aged and older adults who discussed predictors of F&V consumption among African American men. Results. Men highlighted their upbringing as a critical determinant of their current F&V consumption. They indicated that being raised in rural communities and having fruit trees and gardens readily available to them shaped their eating habits. Women - primarily female partners of the men they discussed - recognized their own roles and men's health conditions as important determinants of men's F&V consumption. Perceived food availability and time were discussed by both men and women as important predictors of men's F&V consumption. Discussion. These findings suggest that past and current social and physical environments and female partners may play critical roles in men's eating behavior. Considering these influences on men's eating behavior may lead to more effective strategies to improve African American men's F&V consumption.

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

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify ways in which African American menís physical and social environments contribute to their F&V consumption. 2. Differentiate between the ways in which women and men conceptualize factors that influence African American menís eating behavior. 3. Discuss the need for interventions targeting menís dietary choices to consider the influences of social and physical features of the environments in which men grew up and currently live.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate that has been involved in various aspects of data collection and analysis of the current data set for the past 3 years. I also have a longstanding interest in the effects of neighborhood and individual level variables on dietary intake and associated health outcomes in multiethnic communities.
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.