Amanda Guay, outreach coordinator at North Country HealthCare in Flagstaff, Arizona, believes that affordable nutrition based meals are an important issue in the Flagstaff community, especially for underserved populations. Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are major issues in the area in part due to monetary restrictions and lack of a healthy eating culture. There is a need for nutritional education in the community to assist people on eating healthy meals that will still fit their budget (A. Guay, oral communication, September 2015). Sustainable dietary interventions must address the barriers to dietary adherence. Many factors that affect future dietary adherence have been recognized, including limited access to healthy foods, social aspects of diet, cost, ability to plan healthy meals, and familial and social factors.
Methods: First, we created a questionnaire along with a script. Next, we called previous whole foods plant-based cooking class participants on our personal phones to answer the survey items. The survey evaluated the percentage of each participant’s diet that was whole foods plant-based both before and after the class. The survey also appraised perceived obstacles that potentially hindered continuing the diet after the class, as well as collected suggestions to address these obstacles in an effort to improve the class and make the diet more sustainable in the long term.
Results: 26 participants responded to the survey out of 44 total contacted. Among surveyed participants, we found that the average percentage of meals that were whole foods plant-based before and after the class were 29% and 65% respectively, a 36% increase (P-value <.0001). The two most common perceived barriers continuing the diet were a lack of time and that recipes are too different from their usual food. The two most common suggestions to improve the class were to learn recipes with large meals that last several days and to learn recipes that are similar to their usual food.
Conclusions: We found a statistically significant difference between the percentage of meals that were whole foods plant-based before and after the class. This suggests that the class may be effective at increasing awareness and motivation to consume a whole foods plant-based diet. We recommend that future classes implement recipes with large meals that last multiple days and recipes that are similar to a participant’s typical food. We plan on presenting our findings to North Country HealthCare. We believe our recommendations can help improve future classes so that community members are better able to continue a healthy diet.
To cite this abstract:Rydberg, J; McClain, K; Louie, A; Mccallum, R; Rork, A; Kirk, R; Pickard, W; Kim, P; Higgins, A; Rud, B; Bansal, S; Lewis, J . IDENTIFYING PERCEIVED BARRIERS TO CONTINUATION AFTER COMPLETING A WHOLE FOODS PLANT-BASED DIET WORKSHOP. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 280. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2017; 12 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/identifying-perceived-barriers-to-continuation-after-completing-a-whole-foods-plant-based-diet-workshop/. Accessed September 17, 2019.