June 8, 2018

Qualitative Focus Groups: Perceived Influences on Decision Making About Diet and Physical Activity Among Hispanic/Latino Participants

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Disparities in minority health are strongly associated with reduced access to culturally familiar food and physical activity opportunities. This qualitative study explores a Midwest, urban Hispanic/Latino community, the members’ experiences with their multidimensional environment and its influence on their nutrition and physical activity choices. Using the principles of community-based participatory research in collaboration with a trusted, local Hispanic/Latino community agency, we conducted five bilingual focus groups with a total of 46 self-selected participants (44 women and 2 men). We find that one’s perception of the environmental factors of access, convenience, affordability, and safety influence food and physical activity decision making. Findings can be used to inform interventions to enhance culturally appropriate outreach, increase food equity, and decrease health disparities.

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