Objective: Describe the characteristics and perceptions of adults’ exposure to community gardens in the Pacific Northwest to determine ECGs’ potential as a useful tool for health promotion and nutrition intervention. Perceptions relating to knowledge of gardening skills, and attitudes and health behaviors toward consuming more fruits and vegetables, and being more physically active were explored.
Methods: Data was analyzed from an online survey distributed November to January 2016. Participants were recruited via convenience sampling at various types of ECGs; the final sample totaled 150 adult community gardeners. Descriptive statistics explored demographic and exposure characteristics, as well as how agreeable adults were to the questions relating to perceived knowledge, attitudes and health behaviors. Spearman’s correlations compared participation time with these perceptions.
Results: A majority of gardeners were Caucasian females, aged 45 years and older, were college graduates with advanced degrees, and had a median annual income of $40,000–$59,999. Sixty-four percent worked in neighborhood community gardens, averaging two to three days per week, and 86 percent paid a fee to garden and 95 percent received food from the garden. More than half of adults agreed or strongly agreed that participating in ECGs resulted in consuming more fruits and vegetables, learning more about gardening, and being more physically active. Bivariate correlation identified a significant positive association between years spent gardening and perceived attitudes towards fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors.
Conclusion: This study provides promising results in that ECGs may improve fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical activity amongst gardeners. Results from this study correspond with past research in that ECGs may be a useful tool for nutrition and health interventions. More rigorous research methodologies need to be practiced to discover the benefits, purposes and motivations of participating in ECGs.
|Commitee:||Harris, Cristen L., Thall, Michelle S.|
|Department:||Department of Nutrition|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Adults perceptions, Community gardens, Cross sectional survey, Fruit and vegetable consumption, Health behaviors and attitudes, Physical activity|
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