|Published online: March 28, 2014||$US5.00|
Nutritional gardening is a strategy to increase consumption of produce among low-income populations, thereby reducing the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases. To assess produce consumption and interest in nutritional gardening, interviews were conducted with 100 low-income adults residing in a south Texas county where the population is predominantly Latino and rates of poverty and obesity are high. Respondents consumed an average of 2 servings of fruit and 1.75 servings of vegetables daily, including less than one-half serving of green vegetables. Grocery stores were the primary source of produce. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents grew some of their own food, and 67% of those who grew no food expressed interest in doing so. Those who grew food consumed approximately one more serving of fruits and vegetables combined than those who did not grow food. Almost two-thirds of the respondents were interested in participating in a community gardening program, but obstacles included caregiver responsibilities and lack of time and transportation. Given the favorable climate conditions in the region, programs to encourage nutritional home gardening may be an effective and relatively inexpensive strategy to increase consumption of fresh produce among low-income Latinos in this and similar regions.
|Keywords:||Fruit and Vegetable Intake, Nutritional Gardening, Latinos, Poverty|
Professor, Department of Social Work, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas, USA
Social Worker, South Texas Behavioral Health Center, Edinburg, Texas, USA