Identifying foods commonly consumed by the Jamaican population: the focus group approach

Type Journal Article - International journal of food sciences and nutrition
Title Identifying foods commonly consumed by the Jamaican population: the focus group approach
Volume 49
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 79-86
Focus group methodology was employed in a study conducted in the Caribbean island of Jamaica, aimed at providing critical information on priority foods to be included in a national food composition database. The specific objective of the study was to determine the single and prepared foods most commonly consumed within Jamaican households. Twenty focus groups were conducted nationwide comprising 130 households. Representativeness of sample was obtained by selecting the groups as a subset of the sample used by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica for national social and economic surveys. Groups consisted of 4–13 persons (responsible for household food purchase and preparation) recruited from each sampling region. Content analysis of transcripts was carried out by coding and tabulating mentions (food occurrence) for each question, by group. Code frequencies were collated in a matrix to arrive at foods commonly consumed by group and geographical area. Data generated by the study identified 70 foods as being the most commonly consumed on a weekly basis and 16 cooked dishes as the most commonly prepared. Oranges, ripe bananas, chicken, rice, yellow yam and green bananas were among the most commonly consumed foods, while rice and peas, brown stewed or fried chicken, porridges and soups were among the most commonly prepared dishes, overall. There were no significant differences, across geographical regions, in terms of the frequency with which groups reported household consumption of common foods or commonly prepared dishes. These results suggest a relative homogeneity in types of foods consumed within the Jamaican population and provide a list of ‘core’ foods and food products, in their forms most commonly consumed, for inclusion in an updated food composition database for Jamaica

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