To identify approaches for interventions to improve the nutrition of low-income women and children.
Seven focus groups were conducted with low-income women caring for young children in their households. They discussed shopping, eating at home, eating out and healthy eating. The discussions were recorded and subjected to qualitative thematic analysis.
A semi-rural community in Oregon, USA.
There were seventy-four women (74 % White), most of whom were 18–29 years old.
Four broad themes were identified, i.e. cost-consciousness, convenience, social influences and health issues.
The target population would benefit from improved understanding of what constitutes a balanced diet, with a greater emphasis on a more central role for fruit and vegetables. To persuade this population to change their eating habits, it will be necessary to convince them that healthful food can be low-cost, convenient and palatable for children. Comparing findings from the present study with a similar one in the UK suggests that the US women faced many of the same barriers to healthy eating but displayed less helplessness.
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