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Exploring the Perceptions of Women from Under-Resourced South African Communities about Participating in a Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Nutrition and Health Education Program: A Qualitative Focus Group Study

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Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
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Faculty of Health Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC), 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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Department of Psychology and Education, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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FoodLab Research Group (2017SGR 83), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC), 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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Food and Nutrition Area, Barcelona Official College of Pharmacists, 08009 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040894 (registering DOI)
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
Scientific evidence suggests that low-carbohydrate high-fat (LCHF) diets may be effective for managing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Eat Better South Africa (EBSA) is an organization that runs LCHF nutrition education programs for women from low-income communities. Three focus group discussions (FGDs) were held with 18 women who had taken part in an EBSA program between 2015 and 2017, to explore their perceptions and to identify the facilitators and barriers they faced in implementing and sustaining dietary changes. Thematic analysis of the focus groups was conducted using NVivo 12 software. Women reported that they decided to enroll in the program because they suffered from NCDs. Most women said that the EBSA diet made them feel less hungry, more energetic and they felt that their health had improved. Most women spoke of socioeconomic challenges which made it difficult for them to follow EBSA’s recommendations, such as employment status, safety issues in the community, and lack of support from relatives and doctors. Hence, women felt they needed more support from EBSA after the program. The social determinants that affected these women’s ability to change their health behavior are also NCD risk factors, and these should be assessed to improve the program for other communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition education; thematic analysis; focus group discussion; low-carbohydrate high-fat; South Africa; under-resourced communities nutrition education; thematic analysis; focus group discussion; low-carbohydrate high-fat; South Africa; under-resourced communities
MDPI and ACS Style

Pujol-Busquets, G.; Smith, J.; Larmuth, K.; Fàbregues, S.; Bach-Faig, A. Exploring the Perceptions of Women from Under-Resourced South African Communities about Participating in a Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Nutrition and Health Education Program: A Qualitative Focus Group Study. Nutrients 2020, 12, 894.

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