Developing content for the food environment assessment survey tool (FEAST): A systematic mixed methods study with people with disabilities

Rebecca E. Lee, Alicia O’Neal, Chelsea Cameron, Rosemary B. Hughes, Daniel P. O’Connor, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Michael Todd, Margaret A. Nosek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Almost 1 in every 8 adults in the U.S. have a physical disability that impairs mobility. This participatory project aimed to identify and describe environmental and personal barriers to healthy eating among people with mobility impairments using a rigorous, structured mixed methodology. Community-dwelling adults with a self-reported mobility impairment (N = 20, M = 40.4 years old, 60% female) participated in nominal group technique focus groups. The Ecologic Model of Obesity grounded stimulus questions asked about barriers to obtaining and preparing healthy food. Participants emphasized common barriers across everyday settings-focusing, for example, on the ability to reach shelved food inside the home, navigating to and inside stores and restaurants, and using delivery services. Home environments often did not afford suitable spaces for food preparation and storage. Participants reported inadequate transportation and numerous additional barriers in many settings to be able to eat healthfully. Participants reported lack of accessible transportation and architectural barriers inside stores, restaurants, and their own homes, highlighting the need for efforts aimed at improving accessibility and usability. Findings support the use of the Ecologic Model of Obesity to guide research and suggest the need for improvement in assessment practices and policies that enhance access to healthy food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7781
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Access
  • Disability
  • Ecologic model of obesity
  • Healthy eating
  • Mobility impairment


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