Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Fountain, Brent

Committee Member

Rader, Nicole

Committee Member

Byrd, Sylvia

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


The Mississippi Delta has been recognized for its poverty level and high rate of obesity. As an effort to combat the obesity issue while also considering the poverty issue of the population, a descriptive analysis was developed to understand what intervention might be beneficial. Focus groups were conducted to determine barriers to healthy eating behaviors for children, grades K-2. Focus groups (n=6) with parents or guardians of children from the six elementary schools in the Mississippi Delta were conducted in the Spring of 2007. The emergent themes included, perceived healthy foods, where diet information had been retrieved, and the efforts associated with meal preparation. Participants also voiced concern regarding the school policy on vending and coke machines that provide high-calorie non-nutritious foods.