Attitudes Toward Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Farmers' Market Usage Among Low-Income North Carolinians

Lucia A Leone, Diane Beth, Scott B Ickes, Kathleen Macguire, Erica Nelson, Robert Andrew Smith, Deborah F Tate, Alice S Ammerman
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 2012, 7 (1): 64-76
Low fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption is associated with higher rates of obesity and chronic disease among low-income individuals. Understanding attitudes towards F&V consumption and addressing policy and environmental changes could help improve diet and reduce disease risk. A survey of North Carolinians receiving government assistance was used to describe benefits, barriers, and facilitators of eating F&V and shopping at farmers' markets in this population. A total of 341 eligible individuals from 14 counties completed the survey. The most commonly cited barriers to eating F&V were cost (26.4%) and not having time to prepare F&V (7.3%). Facilitators included access to affordable locally grown F&V (13.5%) and knowledge to quickly and easily prepare F&V (13.2%). Among people who did not use farmers' markets, common barriers to shopping there were not being able to use food assistance program benefits (35.3%) and not knowing of a farmers' market in their area (28.8%); common facilitators included transportation (24.8%) and having more information about farmers' market hours (22.9%). In addition to breaking down structural/environmental barriers to farmers' market usage, there is a need to disseminate promotional information about farmers' markets, including hours, location, and accepted forms of payment.

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