Focus on fathers: A qualitative study of the nutrition education needs and preferences of fathers

Lisa Roff Gemlo, Debra Palmer Keenan, Jennifer Ruffing, Donald Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A two-phase series of guided, small-group discussions (GSGDs) was held to determine the food and nutrition-related educational needs of limited-income, urban fathers. The convenience sample of GSGDs was structured according to Krueger. Phase I consisted of two GSGDs attended by 14 urban agency staff involved with fathers' programs. Phase II consisted of four GSGDs attended by 16 limited-income, urban fathers who had children between the ages of 4 and 11. Analysis involved extensive review of the videotaped and transcribed GSGDs, a pooling and coding of responses, and development of a written display and matrix. The topics of greatest interest reported by participants were cooking, inexpensive ways to eat healthily, meal planning, healthy eating for children, and the effect and importance of food on the body. Analysis suggested that important factors for effective nutrition education with this audience include focusing on food, focusing on the basics, providing a safe and supportive environment for learning, promoting a positive message delivered in a positive fashion, ensuring that attention is given to motivators, choosing an appropriate leader, and honoring the diversity of participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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