Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Kendra Kattelmann


The purpose of this study is to determine influencers and barriers to healthful dietary intake in rural youth in context of the bioecological model. Four focus groups as part of Ignite, a tri-state, five-year, community based partipatory research (CBPR) intervention were conducted with 6th to 8th grade adolescents from an economically disadvantaged community of rural South Dakota. Results were categorized into the context of the bioecological model. Within the model, the process, person, context and time (PPCT) design with the three types of personal characteristics were used to describe the framework in which the systems are embedded. Focus group content themes were then categorized into the appropriate systems within the bioecological model. Focus group results show that the top attributes when making a food choice are taste, quick, convenient, appearance, and craving. The results from the focus group also indicate that adolescents have adequate knowledge on healthy and unhealthy foods. Adolescents desire to have more input on decisions made in their immediate environment. Barriers to healthy food consumption include lack of convenient, prepared, tasteful choices in their environment. Interventions focusing in improving healthful food consumption in adolescents need to include environmental and policy changes in the school and community food systems. Interventions should reflect the translation of knowledge into healthy behavior through environment and policy.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural youth -- Nutrition

Obesity in adolescence -- Prevention

Food preferences

Health behavior in adolescence


Includes bibliographical references (pages 44-47)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2016 Megan Bren