Qualitative Study among African American Parents to Inform an Intervention to Promote Adoption of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Food and Physical Activity Recommendations


This qualitative study was conducted to enable the research team to culturally tailor an intervention to increase adherence to Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) in African American parents and their children living in Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) communities. Focus group results guided the planning of an obesity prevention intervention utilizing the We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition) obesity prevention program. Main outcome measure was perceptions of approaches to use in culturally tailoring a nutrition and physical activity intervention. Six focus group sessions were conducted with 86 African American adults to identify cultural concerns, intervention strategies in two Louisiana parishes in the LMD. Focus groups discussions were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to identify recurring trends and patterns among focus groups. Major themes that emerged included cultural influences on food habits and physical activity, challenges of meeting the DGA and the CDC physical activity guidelines, facilitators and barriers to adhering to healthy food and physical activity guidelines and program development. Wider acceptance and use of the DGA recommendations are needed by LMD populations, leading to reduced prevalence of overweight and obesity and parallel reductions in the prevalence of chronic diseases. Interventions are needed that will enhance adherence to the DGA particularly for diverse subpopulations in the U.S. This study provides important insights for culturally tailoring an intervention to promote adoption of the DGA in two low-income African American Delta communities.

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McGee, B. , Richardson, V. , Johnson, G. and Johnson, C. (2014) Qualitative Study among African American Parents to Inform an Intervention to Promote Adoption of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Food and Physical Activity Recommendations. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 835-849. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.59093.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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