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“Food Doesn’t Have Power Over Me Anymore!” Self-Efficacy as a Driver for Dietary Adherence Among African American Adults Participating in Plant-Based and Meat-Reduced Dietary Interventions: A Qualitative Study

  • Nkechi Okpara
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

    Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
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  • Christina Chauvenet
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Christina Chauvenet, PhD, MSc, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene St, Room 529, Columbia, SC 29208.
    Affiliations
    Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
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  • Katherine Grich
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

    Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
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  • Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

    Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
    Search for articles by this author
Published:October 30, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2021.10.023

      Abstract

      Background

      African American (AA) adults are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease risk factors. Many nutrition interventions aim to promote healthier eating to reduce cardiovascular disease incidences among participants. However, little is known about what influences individuals’ nutrition self-efficacy while participating in these interventions.

      Objective

      The objective of this study is to explore the drivers and barriers of nutrition self-efficacy among Nutritious Eating With Soul (NEW Soul) participants. The NEW Soul study was funded from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

      Design

      A purposive-current study sampling was used to conduct 4 audio-recorded focus groups for this qualitative study. Bandura’s self-efficacy theory of behavior change guided the framework. This theory asserts that individual self-efficacy is influenced by 4 factors: (1) mastery experiences, (2) vicarious experiences, (3) social persuasion, and (4) somatic and emotional states.

      Participants/setting

      Inclusion criteria for the NEW Soul program included being an AA, being between 18 and 65 years old, and having a body mass index between 25 and 49.9. Participants in cohort 2 (n = 84) of the NEW Soul program were asked to participate in focus groups. In total, 28 individuals (16 vegan, 12 omnivorous participants) took part in 4 in-person focus groups, which contained 3 to 13 participants. Focus groups took place in the southeastern United States.

      Main outcome measure

      Perception of drivers and barriers of following the diet.

      Statistical analysis

      Responses were analyzed qualitatively using principles of content analysis.

      Results

      Nine themes influenced participants’ confidence in their ability to follow their diet: food preference, planning and preparation, identity and tradition, mindfulness, representation, social support, social influence, accountability, and state of mind.

      Conclusion

      In this study, self-efficacy played a prominent role in participants’ motivations toward following the diet. Mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and positive psychological arousal were all common themes in participant-reported sources of motivation. Nutrition interventions are likely to elicit positive behavioral outcomes if these 4 factors that enhance self-efficacy are incorporated into program development.
      Nutritious Eating With Soul ((NEW Soul)), Omnivorous ((Omni))

      Keywords

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      Biography

      N. Okpara is a doctoral student, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and the Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      C. Chauvenet is a postdoctoral fellow, Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      G. Turner-McGrievy is an associate professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and the Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      K. Grich is a research assistant, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and the Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.