Objective: To elucidate the perceived health benefits of an urban home gardening and nutritional education program in a population at high cardiometabolic risk.
Design: Qualitative data collected via in-depth, semistructured interviews in Spanish or English.
Setting: Community-based program offering supported urban home gardening together with nutrition education in Santa Clara County, CA.
Participants: A total of 32 purposively sampled low-income participants in an urban home gardening program. Participants were primarily female (n = 24) and Latino/a (n = 22).
Phenomenon of interest: Perceptions of the nutrition and health benefits of education-enhanced urban home gardening.
Analysis: Bilingual researchers coded transcripts using a hybrid inductive and deductive approach. Two coders double coded at intervals, independently reviewed coding reports, organized content into key themes, and selected exemplary quotations.
Results: The most salient perceived impacts were greater food access, increased consumption of fresh produce, a shift toward home cooking, and decreased fast food consumption. Participants attributed these changes to greater affordability, freshness, flavor, and convenience of their garden produce; increased health motivation owing to pride in their gardens; and improved nutritional knowledge. Participants also reported improved physical activity, mental health, and stress management; some reported improved weight and adherence to diabetes-healthy diets.
Conclusions and implications: Education-enhanced urban home gardening may facilitate multidimensional nutrition and health improvements in marginalized populations at high cardiometabolic risk.
Keywords: Latino; health; nutrition; qualitative; urban garden.
Copyright © 2019 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.