Qualitative Analysis of Childhood Nutrition Improvement Efforts in Charlottesville, Virginia
Alisha Gupta & Stephanie Davis
Childhood malnutrition and obesity are heavily correlated with the rising availability of low-cost, high-calorie, and nutrient-poor foods. Nationally, over 12 million children (aged 6-19), or approximately 20% of all children, are obese. More specifically, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the prevalence of overweight and obese children has remained at 35% throughout the past decade. In order to address local childhood obesity, the Charlottesville food justice network (CFJN) collaboratively works to identify the opportunities and barriers to accessing healthy nutritious foods for community residents.
Researchers conducted 11 semi-structured interviews with CFJN professionals to determine overlapping barriers across both individual and community efforts in Charlottesville. The interview data was coded and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Qualitative data suggested that the most common challenges professionals see in Charlottesville revolved around children’s behaviors and perceptions of foods, food literacy issues, program planning, societal influences, and socioeconomic factors.