Online Program

Growing health: Cultural assets for garden-based diabetes prevention within an urban Filipino and Pacific Islander community

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Vanessa Buchthal, DrPH, Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Laura Hsu, DrPH, John A Burns School of Medicine, Office of Public Health Sciences, university of hawaii at manoa, Honolulu
Melissa Oshiro, MPH, John A Burns School of Medicine, Office of Public Health Sciences, university of hawaii at manoa, Honolulu, HI
Background/Significance: Garden-based interventions are an emerging tool for addressing health disparities in low-income urban neighborhoods. Evidence suggests that these programs may help improve both access and consumption of healthy foods. Low-income Filipino and Pacific Islanders in the United States experience disparate rates of diabetes and heart disease; “garden education” is increasingly being integrated into diabetes-prevention efforts with these communities. However, most garden curricula are not culturally-tailored for these populations, and assume that urban residents have little food-cultivation experience. Little is known about assets or preferences for home gardening within low-income urban Filipino or Pacific Islander communities in the United States. Objective/Purpose. The objective of this project was to identify the existing food-growing practices within an urban low-income Filipino and Pacific Islander community. Methods: A random sample of census blocks was drawn from a densely-populated low-income Filipino (41%) and Pacific Islander (36%) neighborhood in urban Honolulu. The sample was GIS-mapped with zoning and property lines. Observers were trained to recognize food-plants common in the Philippines and the Pacific Islands; an environmental scan was then conducted to identify parcels with food cultivation, and types of food plants grown. Results: 27% of all properties were cultivating food plants. Greater diversity was found in single-family-home zoning, but food cultivation was also prevalent in multifamily, business, and industrial areas; 93% of all blocks had at least one food-growing property. 93% of all food plants seen were fruit trees, with papaya (38%), mango (18%), citrus (17%), banana (12%) most common. Vegetable cultivation was disproportionately located in single-family zoning. Discussion/Conclusions: Results suggest urban Filipino and Pacific Islander communities may contain substantial food-growing assets, but that preferences tend towards fruit tree production and traditional vegetables rather than towards standard garden-curricula items like lettuce and tomatoes. These assets and preferences should be considered when designing community garden-based interventions.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the need for cultural tailoring of garden-based interventions intended to prevent diabetes within urban Filipino and Pacific Islander communities in the United States. Identify the community assets and food cultivation preferences that exist within these communities, and discuss how these may be used to inform intervention deesign.

Keyword(s): Asian and Pacific Islander, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on the Hawaii Department of Health SNAP-Ed grant for several years. In this role, I have worked extensively with community-based agencies on the development needs assessment and evaluation data for community-based interventions for diabetes prevention within low-income Asian and Pacific Islander populations.
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.