A qualitative assessment of multi-level nutrition strategies for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes

Amanda Maria Navarro, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this study is to examine the stages of program realization of the interventions that the Bronx Health REACH program initiated at various levels to improve nutrition as a means for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes. This study was based on secondary analyses of qualitative data collected through the Bronx Health REACH Nutrition Project, a project conducted under the auspices of the Institute on Urban Family Health, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Local human subjects' review and approval through the Institute on Urban Family Health was required and obtained in order to conduct the Bronx Health REACH Nutrition Project. The study drew from two theoretical models—Glanz and colleagues' nutrition environments model and Shediac-Rizkallah and Bone's sustainability model. The specific study objectives were two-fold: (1) to categorize each nutrition activity to a specific dimension (i.e. consumer, organizational or community nutrition environment); and (2) to evaluate the stage at which the program has been realized (i.e. development, implementation or sustainability). A case study approach was applied and a constant comparative method was used to analyze the data. Triangulation of data based was also conducted. Qualitative data from this study revealed the following principal findings: (1) communities of color are disproportionately experiencing numerous individual and environmental factors contributing to the disparities in diabetes; (2) multi-level strategies that targeted the individual, organizational and community nutrition environments can appropriately address these contributing factors; (3) the nutrition strategies greatly varied in their ability to appropriately meet criteria for the three program stages; and (4) those nutrition strategies most likely to succeed (a) conveyed consistent and culturally relevant messages, (b) had continued involvement from program staff and partners, (c) were able to adapt over time or setting, (d) had a program champion and a training component, (e) were integrated into partnering organizations, and (f) were perceived to be successful by program staff and partners in their efforts to create individual, organizational and community/policy change. As a result of the criteria-based assessment and qualitative findings, an ecological framework elaborating on Glanz and colleagues model was developed. The qualitative findings and the resulting ecological framework developed from this study will help public health professionals and community leaders to develop and implement sustainable multi-level nutrition strategies for addressing racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Public health|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Navarro, Amanda Maria, "A qualitative assessment of multi-level nutrition strategies for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3284041.