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The British Columbia Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program (FMNCP) provides low-income households with coupons valued at $21/week for 16 weeks to purchase healthy foods in farmers’ markets. Our objective was to explore FMNCP participants’ experiences of accessing nutritious foods, and perceived programme outcomes.
The current study used qualitative description methodology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with FMNCP participants during the 2019 farmers' market season. Directed content analysis was used to analyse the data, whereby the five domains of Freedman et al.’s framework of nutritious food access provided the basis for an initial coding scheme. Data that did not fit within the framework’s domains were coded inductively.
One urban and two rural communities in British Columbia, Canada.
Twenty-eight adults who were participating in the FMNCP.
Three themes emerged: autonomy and dignity, social connections and community building, and environmental and programmatic constraints. Firstly, the programme promoted a sense of autonomy and dignity through financial support, increased access to high-quality produce, food-related education and skill development and mitigating stigma and shame. Secondly, shopping in farmers' markets increased social connections and fostered a sense of community. Finally, participants experienced limited food variety in rural farmers' markets, lack of transportation and challenges with redeeming coupons.
Participation in the FMNCP facilitated access to nutritious foods and enhanced participants’ diet quality, well-being and health. Strategies such as increasing the amount and duration of subsidies and expanding programmes may help improve participants’ experiences and outcomes of farmers' market food subsidy programmes.
Increasing evidence links unhealthy food environments with diet quality and overweight/obesity. Recent evidence has demonstrated that relative food environment measures outperform absolute measures. Few studies have examined the interplay between these two measures. We examined the separate and combined effects of the absolute and relative densities of unhealthy food outlets within 1600 m buffers around elementary schools on children’s diet- and weight-related outcomes.
This is a cross-sectional study of 812 children from thirty-nine schools. The Youth Healthy Eating Index (Y-HEI) and daily vegetables and fruit servings were derived from the Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire for Children and Youth. Measured heights and weights determined BMI Z-scores. Food outlets were ranked as healthy, somewhat healthy and unhealthy according to provincial paediatric nutrition guidelines. Multilevel mixed-effects regression models were used to assess the effect of absolute (number) and relative (proportion) densities of unhealthy food outlets within 1600 m around schools on diet quality and weight status.
Two urban centres in the province of Alberta, Canada.
Grade 5 students (10–11 years).
For children attending schools with a higher absolute number (36+) of unhealthy food outlets within 1600 m, every 10 % increase in the proportion of unhealthy food outlets was associated with 4·1 lower Y-HEI score and 0·9 fewer daily vegetables and fruit.
Children exposed to a higher relative density of unhealthy food outlets around a school had lower diet quality, specifically in areas where the absolute density of unhealthy food outlets was also high.
To assess public health nutrition practice within the public health system in Ontario, Canada to identify provincial-wide needs for scientific and technical support.
A qualitative descriptive study was conducted to identify activities, strengths, challenges and opportunities in public health nutrition practice using semi-structured key informant interviews (n 21) and focus groups (n 10). Recorded notes were analysed concurrently with data generation using content analysis. System needs were prioritised through a survey.
Public health units.
Eighty-nine practitioners, managers, directors, medical officers of health, researchers and other stakeholders were purposively recruited through snowball and extreme case sampling.
Five themes were generated: (i) current public health nutrition practice was broad, complex, in transition and collaborative; (ii) data/evidence/research relevant to public health needs were insufficiently available and accessible; (iii) the amount and specificity of guidance/leadership was perceived to be mismatched with strong evidence that diet is a risk factor for poor health; (iv) resources/capacity were varied but insufficient and (v) understanding of nutrition expertise in public health among colleagues, leadership and other organisations can be improved. Top ranked needs were increased understanding, visibility and prioritisation of healthy eating and food environments; improved access to data and evidence; improved collaboration and coordination; and increased alignment of activities and goals.
Collective capacity in the public health nutrition can be improved through strategic system-wide capacity-building interventions. Research is needed to explore how improvements in data, evidence and local contexts can bridge research and practice to effectively and efficiently improve population diets and health.
Test the efficacy and perceived effectiveness of nutrition labels on children’s menus from a full-service chain restaurant in an online study.
Using a between-groups experiment, parents were randomised to view children’s menus displaying one of five children’s nutrition labelling conditions: (i) No Nutrition Information (control); (ii) Calories Only; (iii) Calories + Contextual Statement (CS); (iv) Calories, Sodium + CS; or (v) Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS. Parents hypothetically ordered up to one entrée, side, beverage and dessert for their child, then rated and ranked all five labelling conditions on the level of perceived effectiveness.
998 parents with a 3–12 year old child.
Parents exposed to menus displaying ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ selected significantly fewer calories ‘overall’ (entrées + side + dessert + beverage) compared to parents exposed to the control condition (−53·1 calories, P < 0·05). Parents selected ‘entrees’ with significantly fewer calories and lower sodium when exposed to menus with ‘Calories + CS’ (−24·3 calories, P < 0·05); ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ (−25·4 calories, −56·1 mg sodium, P < 0·05 for both); and ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ (−29·1 calories, −58·6 mg sodium, P < 0·05 for both). Parents exposed to menus with ‘Calories, Sodium + CS’ and ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ were more likely to notice and understand nutrition information compared to other nuntrition labelling conditions. Parents perceived the menu with ‘Calories and Sodium in Traffic Lights + CS’ as most effective (P < 0·05).
Menus disclosing calories, sodium and a contextual statement increased the proportion of parents who noticed and understood nutrition information, and resulted in parents selecting lower calorie and sodium entrées for their children in the hypothetical purchase task.
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