‘And they wonder why Halton’s got issues!’ Focus groups exploring and comparing barriers to accessing healthy and affordable foods, for parents with children under the age of five years, in Runcorn and Widnes (Halton)
AuthorsBirks, Jessica E.
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AbstractObjective: To explore, compare and suggest improvements for the barriers to accessing healthy and affordable foods, for parents living in areas of high deprivation. Design: Semi-structured focus groups were conducted with all participants, to discuss any barriers they had experienced. Focus groups were audio recorded and lasted approximately 1 hour. Transcripts were written verbatim and common themes were formulated, using thematic analysis, to identify the key barriers for participants. Setting: Two low income areas within Halton, UK; Windmill Hill (Runcorn) and Hough Green (Widnes). Subjects: 13 mothers with at least one child under the age of five years old (average age of 32 years). The majority of subjects were unemployed and held a full UK-driving licence. Results: Four key themes and two sub-themes were identified: (1) ‘High cost to access healthy food locally (with the sub-theme ‘Short-shelf life of healthy food locally’); (2) ‘Children and family situation’ (with the sub-theme ’Access to budget shops’); (3) ‘Dominance of unhealthy food vs healthy food’ and (4) ‘Inadequate support/guidance with healthy diet’. These applied to both areas, with few differences between the localities noted within themes, of which are discussed. Conclusions: The main findings suggest that this sample of parents within Halton do experience barriers to accessing healthy, affordable food and thus are at risk of the consequences of poor nutrition. Understanding these barriers will help counteract this risk, in that recommendations can be made to inform relevant public health policy and improve the situation for Halton residents.
CitationBirks, J. E. (2016). ‘And they wonder why Halton’s got issues!’ Focus groups exploring and comparing barriers to accessing healthy and affordable foods, for parents with children under the age of five years, in Runcorn and Widnes (Halton) (Master's thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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