Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal


community-based participatory research, chronic disease, diet, health status disparities, Native Hawaiians

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Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Other Nutrition | Public Health and Community Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion


Many of the chronic illnesses disproportionately experienced by Native Hawaiians are directly related to poor diets and long-standing obesity beginning in childhood. We report on the findings of in-depth key informant interviews (N = 14) that took place in two Native Hawaiian communities as part of a larger, community-based participatory research study that included a community assessment through individual interviews and focused group discussions, and a pilot intervention targeting pregnant women, their infants, and families. Four categories emerged from the qualitative analysis of interview transcripts that described an understanding of “healthy eating”: family roles and responsibilities, aspects of community and physical environment, deeper spiritual meaning of food, and ways of operationalizing personal eating choices. The findings revealed previously undocumented intergenerational influences on healthy eating patterns and informed the design of the next study phases and are of significance in targeting nutritional interventions for Native Hawaiians.