Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

General Honors

First Advisor

Jill Litt

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Peter Newton

Abstract

Growing food locally, through community-supported agriculture, community gardens, and home gardens, can increase availability, accessibility, and affordability of fruits and vegetables. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the potential associations between local food production and healthy diets within the community garden context, fewer studies have focused on the role of the home garden and whether it is amenable to intervention. In a predominantly low-income and Latino community in west Denver, Re:Vision International aims to promote the use of home gardens to improve diet, activity, blood pressure, weight status, and overall health. In partnership with Re:Vision, we conducted a post-hoc analysis of survey data to understand the associations between participation in the home garden program and diet, self- reported health, exercise, body mass index, and blood pressure (n=37). After adjusting for income, marital status, gender, age, and neighborhood attachment, no statistically significant relationships were observed. These analyses are severely limited by a small sample size. However, the direction, dose response relationship, and biological significance suggest that further investigation of home gardens and population health outcomes are warranted. Although no definite conclusions can be drawn, the literature and the direction of the results suggests that participation in a community-based intervention to home gardening may have the potential to change resident’s diet and blood pressure. Further research is needed to confirm these postulations.

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