Honors Projects for Dietetics
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ItemIdentifying Perceived Barriers and Enablers of Healthy Eating in College Students in Hawai’i: a Qualitative Study Using Focus Groups(University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2017-05)Identifying Perceived Barriers and Enablers of Healthy Eating in College Students in Hawai’i: a Qualitative Study Using Focus Groups Lucia P Amore*, Opal Vanessa Buchthal, Jinan Banna. Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI The purpose of this study was to identify and describe perceived barriers and enablers of healthy eating in college students ages 18-24 at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. A semi-structured interview guide was developed based on review of relevant literature and pilot tested in one focus group. Six focus groups of 4-6 students (n=30) were conducted by a trained moderator (LA). Discussions were audio recorded and subsequently transcribed. After each focus group, LA coded the transcript using NVivo 11, and additional codes were added to the codebook based on emergent ideas. Once all transcripts were coded, key themes were then determined by examining code counts and identifying overarching ideas based on the socio-ecological model of health. Key barriers identified were attitudes and beliefs toward healthy eating, the cost of healthy food options in Hawai’i, knowledge deficit of healthy foods or preparation, and institution-related food availability. Key enablers identified were knowledge of nutrition, attitudes or prioritization of healthy eating, and social support. Results revealed that social and educational factors play a role in promoting healthy eating in Hawai’i, but the cost of living and food availability at college serve as barriers even for motivated students. Incorporating nutrition education into the curriculum may be one way to help college students with the transition into independent living in the early years. Additional studies are still needed to determine how best to design and prioritize food environment interventions in colleges.