Rural perspectives on family nutrition and physical activity: Results from focus groups with parents of elementary-age children
Methods: Nine focus groups were conducted among six rural, low-income, Oregon communities. Participants included 36 parents of elementary-age children from 26 families. A semi-structured interview guide was used to elicit perspectives on family eating and activity habits; the influence of family practices, policies, and features of the home environment; and barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and activity opportunities. Focus group transcripts were analyzed using a constant comparative technique to identify themes.
Results: Preliminary findings suggest factors such as community availability of produce, home gardens, and not watching TV during mealtime influenced family eating habits whereas weather, adequate play spaces, and screen time practices influenced physical activity. Time was an important factor associated with eating and activity habits. Additional findings are anticipated to reveal perceived conditions associated with nutrition and activity behaviors as related to constructs of Social Cognitive Theory.
Discussion: Understanding the supports for and barriers to eating healthfully and being physically active, as experienced by rural families, will inform future intervention strategies to promote healthy nutrition and activity environments in rural family homes. Findings may also facilitate efforts to provide consistent opportunities to practice weight-healthy behaviors across community, school, and home environments.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the supports for and barriers to healthy eating and physical activity behaviors in rural family home environments as identified by focus group participants. Discuss the application of Social Cognitive Theory to the promotion of nutrition and physical activity in rural family home environments. Discuss strategies to promote family-level practices and policies that support the development of lifelong healthy eating and activity habits among rural children and families.
Keyword(s): Child Health Promotion, Obesity
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a MS in Nutrition and Food management. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Public Health, Health Promotion and Health Behavior and a Graduate Research Assistant on a USDA-funded, Community-Based Participatory Research project examining environmental factors associated with childhood obesity at the community, school, and family levels. My scholarship is focused on the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors in youth populations, including rural 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.