Improving the function of a high obesity program

Findings from community-engaged Mississippi Delta focus groups

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.104.012

Keywords:

Obesity, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Focus Groups, Rural Health, Health Equity

Abstract

In this policy and practice brief, Mississippi State University Extension Services applies a coalition-driven approach to addressing the prevalence of obesity in communities in the Mississippi Delta through its High Obesity Program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Focus groups were conducted with coali­tion members from six counties to evaluate efforts by this program. The evaluation team used content and thematic analysis to report on coalition activi­ties. Some the barriers coalition members identified were limited access to healthy foods and the need for more assistance from program staff. Action items were developed and implemented in re­sponse to focus group feedback. These items included enhanced communication tools and coalition trainings. This evaluation brief describes some of the common challenges in coalition build­ing and innovative ways to improve them. Our focus group findings are also valuable to public health scientists and practitioners working in rural communities.

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Author Biographies

Erin M. King, Mississippi State University

MPH, MS; Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Connie Baird-Thomas, Mississippi State University

Ph.D.; Associate Director, Social Science Research Center

Angela Robertson, Mississippi State University

Ph.D.; Associate Director, Social Science Research Center

Masey Smith, Mississippi State University

MPA; Program Manager, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

David R. Buys, Mississippi State University

Ph.D., MSPH, CPH, FGSA; State Health Specialist and Associate Professor, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Published

2021-09-14

How to Cite

King, E., Baird-Thomas, C., Robertson, A., Smith, M., & Buys, D. (2021). Improving the function of a high obesity program: Findings from community-engaged Mississippi Delta focus groups. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(4), 123–126. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.104.012

Issue

Section

Research, Policy, and Practice Brief