The purpose of this study was to engage residents of four rural Nevada communities to explain local resources and readiness to address environmental challenges to weight healthy lifestyles. Residents engaged in HEAL MAPPS™, a participatory research approach using photomapping and community conversations to document lived experiences of place-based resources as supports or barriers. Data were triangulated to scale community readiness-to-change. This study focuses on a description of methods and qualitative findings. Healthy food unavailability emerged consistently among communities as a barrier; produce options were limited and many residents relied on convenience foods. Physical activity opportunities were available, yet access was a barrier. Transportation-related issues emerged as barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. Communities ranged between “vague awareness” and “preplanning” on readiness-to-change. Local data and shared knowledge of the obesogenic context can inform community policy and environmental improvements that promote health and enhance quality of life for rural populations.
Lindsay, Anne, Courtney Coughenour, Holly Gatzke, Juliana Baker-Tingey, Steve Lewis, Mihaela Ciulei, Katherine Gunter, and Deborah John. 2019. "Engaging Rural Nevadans in Participatory Research to Explore and Explain the Community Food and Physical Activity Context." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 34(2): Article 4. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol34/iss2/4