Intra-family role expectations and reluctance to change identified as key barriers to expanding vegetable consumption patterns during interactive family-based program for appalachian low-income food preparers.
Sommaire de l'article
Few Americans eat sufficient vegetables, especially the protective deep orange and dark green vegetables. To address this, a community-based wellness program to broaden vegetables served at evening meals targeting Appalachian food preparers and their families was tested in a randomized, controlled intervention. Food preparers (n=50) were predominately married (88%), white (98%), and female (94%), with several children living at home. Experimental food preparers (n=25) attended the program sessions and controls (n=25) were mailed relevant handouts and recipes. At program sessions, participants received nutrition information, hands-on cooking instruction, and prepared recipes to take home for family evaluation. As qualitative assessment, 10 couples from each treatment group (n=20 couples) were randomly selected for baseline and immediate post-intervention interviews to explore impact on the food preparer’s family. These in-depth interviews with the food preparer and their adult partner were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Two researchers conducted thematic analysis using constant comparison. Family flexibility about food choices was assessed using roles, rules, and power concepts from Family Systems Theory. Interviews at baseline revealed dinner vegetable variety was very limited because food preparers served only what everyone liked (a role expectation) and deferred to male partner and children’s narrow vegetable preferences (power). Control couples reported no change in vegetable dinner variety post-intervention. Most experimental couples reported in-home tasting and evaluation was worthwhile and somewhat broadened vegetables served at dinners. But the role expectation of serving only what everyone liked and the practice of honoring powerful family members’ vegetable preferences remained major barriers to change.