This thesis examines how participants of an eight-week nutrition education class utilize disseminated information to manage chronic disease, as well as explores the challenges a community based nutrition education resource center faces in the arena of chronic disease prevention. Per the World Health Organization's Global Report on Diabetes, 422 million adults currently live with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, a four-fold increase since the 1980s. Within the U.S., approximately nine percent of the adult population suffers from diabetes, and obesity, a major contributor to the disease, afflicts nearly thirty-five percent. While medical professionals frame the controlling of chronic disease from a pathophysiological perspective by promoting self-care methods and using language rooted in personal responsibility for successful treatment plans, implementation of such strategies by patients is more nuanced. In Orlando, Florida, staff at a community based, non-profit, nutrition resource center, Hebni Nutrition Consultants Inc., has played a key role in advocating for African-American community health in Central Florida, educating clients about chronic disease prevention and management since their establishment in 1995. Using ethnographic methods of participant-observation and semi- structured interviews, this project explores the challenges the staff of Hebni face operating at the intersection of the public and private sectors, as well as how participants of Hebni's programming understand discourses of empowerment, neoliberal ideas of self-care, and individual versus collective identity, when navigating the biomedical world. This project contributes not only to the growing body of research surrounding health disparities in minority communities, but also how neoliberal policies have shifted responsibility of community health and wellbeing from the state and onto private organizations.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Matos, Allison, "Teach them to eat: Complexities of Community Based Organization and Nutrition Education Initiatives in the Prevention of Chronic Disease" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5229.