Healthy eating in a Boys & Girls Club afterschool programme: Barriers, facilitators and opportunities

Tabetha A. Brockman, Leslie A. Sim, Bridget K. Biggs, Carrie A. Bronars, Sonja J. Meiers, Ellen Tolleson, Jennifer L. Ridgeway, Gladys B. Asiedu, Marcelo M. Hanza, Molly A. Olson, Kathleen A. Slowiak, Jennifer A. Weis, Christi A. Patten, Matthew M. Clark, Jodi Millerbernd, Irene G. Sia, Mark L. Wieland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine intervention needs and to gather stakeholder input regarding healthy eating promotion for youth members served at a Boys & Girls Club in Rochester, Minnesota. Design: Mixed-methods design informed by community-based participatory research principles. Setting and Method: Young people completed a dietary habits questionnaire and height and weight measure-ments. Focus groups gathered stakeholder – Boys & Girls Club members, staff, caregivers – perspectives on opportunities to improve children’s healthy eating through the club setting. Content analysis identified major themes in informants’ accounts. Results: Participants identified individual and environmental barriers to healthy eating and opportunities to reduce barriers at this Boys & Girls Club site. Few children met basic nutritional guidelines related to fruit, vegetable, milk and water consumption, and limiting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and nearly half were overweight/obese. Stakeholders expressed interest in healthy eating promotion and identified multiple individual-level, interpersonal and environmental opportunities to promote healthier eating through the Boys & Girls Club site. Conclusion: Findings build on a growing literature indicating afterschool programmes are uniquely positioned to address health disparities related to paediatric nutrition and obesity, and can be used to inform the design of a multi-layered intervention to address the complexities influencing dietary quality and obesity among diverse and underserved youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-931
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Afterschool programmes
  • childhood obesity prevention
  • community-based participatory research
  • health disparities
  • healthy eating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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