Sonya J Jones

Sonya J Jones
University of South Carolina | USC · Department of Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

PhD

About

93
Publications
18,890
Reads
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2,846
Citations
Citations since 2017
12 Research Items
1525 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Additional affiliations
August 2006 - March 2016
University of South Carolina
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2002 - May 2005
University of Tennessee
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
Food systems students can benefit from a critically reflective, anti-oppressive, and culturally responsive classroom. In this paper, we share 37 students’ reflections on their experiences in two such courses. Qualitative analysis was done in NVIVO to identify emergent themes. Students connected personal experiences of trauma, oppression, grief, as...
Article
The purpose of this qualitative study is to elucidate how food insecurity affects diabetes self-management among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Eleven persons with T2DM who screened as food insecure were recruited from a patient pool of a healthcare system in South Carolina. Interview recordings were transcribed, blinded, and imported...
Chapter
Full-text available
Food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms are responsible for more ill health than any other cause. Maternal and child undernutrition contributes to more than 10% of the world's disease burden. Undernutrition contributes up to 45% of preventable deaths among children under 5 years of age, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. The heal...
Article
Cultural frames, or myths we use to communicate, shape how we understand social problems, such as child hunger. In 48 interviews, we identified metaphors and myths, such as “the poor will always be with you,” “meat product,” and “butterfly effects” that point to cultural frames of child hunger. Three different frames were identified – the welfare s...
Article
Objective To examine the association between parenting styles and overall child dietary quality within households that are low-income and food-insecure. Design Child dietary intake was measured via a 24 h dietary recall. Dietary quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). Parenting styles were measured and scored using the...
Article
Objective We explored how positive and negative life experiences of caregivers are associated with household food insecurity. Design The Midlands Family Study (MFS) was a cross-sectional study with three levels of household food security: food secure, food insecure without child hunger and food insecure with child hunger. Ordinal logistic regressi...
Article
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Eliminating food insecurity among children is a priority in the US, and research that focuses on the resilience and agency of families can help refocus our programs and policies. The Midlands Family Study was a cross-sectional study including 544 families that were food secure, food insecure, or experiencing food insecurity with child hunger that c...
Article
Eliminating childhood hunger and supporting households in need of food are US policy priorities, because food insecurity in the US remains elevated postrecession. The objective of this study was to bring a systems science lens to the issue of childhood food security. We used a qualitative systems mapping process (a “soft” systems science approach)...
Article
Objective: To examine the strategies and behaviors caregivers use to manage the household food supply when their children experience food insecurity as measured by the US Department of Agriculture's Household Food Security Survey Module. Design: Cross-sectional survey with open-ended questions collected in person. Setting: Urban and nonurban a...
Article
Objectives: In 2014, 30% of African-American households with children had low or very low food security, a rate double that of white households with children. A household has low food security if its members experience food shortages and reductions in food quality attributable to a lack of household resources or access and very low food security if...
Article
This article explores how parents and school personnel perceived and experienced parental involvement at a school serving a low-income mainly black population. The first author recorded detailed field notes (n=70) and conducted in-depth interviews with parents (n=20) and school personnel (n=20) over a three-year period. Despite rhetoric of inclusio...
Article
Objective: To explore how a sample of Mexican American mothers with preschool-aged children recruited from a Midwestern Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinic obtained information about 4 behaviors associated with childhood obesity risk: eating, physical activity, screen time, and sleep. Design: One-...
Article
Food insecurity affects one fifth of U.S. households with children and tends to be associated with low income, minority race/ethnicity, and low educational attainment—difficult groups to recruit to population-based studies. We present successful recruitment strategies and participation data after enrolling 544 participants encompassing 3 food secur...
Article
Objective To examine the association of both perceived and geographic neighbourhood food access with food security status among households with children. Design This was a cross-sectional study in which participants’ perceptions of neighbourhood food access were assessed by a standard survey instrument, and geographic food access was evaluated by...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal association between household food security status and growth in body mass index (BMI) in a sample of U.S. children from kindergarten through eighth grade. In kindergarten, females in food insecure households had an average BMI that was 1.12% less (95% confidence interval [CI], −1.89, −0...
Article
Full-text available
The medicalization of obesity encourages the structural and interpersonal regulation and monitoring of people who appear to be overweight or obese, with particular attention paid to low-income and minority populations; these dynamics serve to perpetuate contemporary social inequalities. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding o...
Article
The objective of this study is to develop a structured observational method for the systematic assessment of the food-choice architecture that can be used to identify key points for behavioral economic intervention intended to improve the health quality of children's diets. We use an ethnographic approach with observations at twelve elementary scho...
Article
Objective: Our research examined the prevalence of food insecurity among adults with self-reported diabetes and whether food insecurity was associated with cutting back ("scrimping") on prescribed medications because of financial constraints. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey...
Research
This article explores how parents and school personnel perceived and experienced parental involvement at a school that serves a low-income mainly Black population. Despite rhetoric of inclusion, the school’s policies and practices restricted parents to pre-determined and acceptable roles of parental involvement.
Research
The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the perceptions of health and obesity among mostly Black parents and mostly White school personnel at an elementary school serving low-income, Black children, compare these perceptions to the dominant obesity discourse, and explore possible differences in child health narratives and ob...
Article
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Previous studies have reported a higher prevalence of obesity among rural Americans. However, it is not clear whether obesity-related behaviors can explain the higher level of obesity among rural adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in obesity-related behaviors across rural-urban adult populations in the...
Article
Full-text available
Children in the United States consume too few vegetables and fruits, consistent with the diets of adults and the foods available in the food supply. The farm-to-school movement seeks to improve both the supply of fruits and vegetables available to children and children’s diets. The State of South Carolina (SC) piloted a farm-to-school program with...
Article
Full-text available
Household food insecurity occurs in the context of families’ experiences of difficult life events. Using the family adaptation and adjustment response model and elements of life course theory, we analyzed 14 in-depth interviews to determine the types of events that families experience, what demands and capabilities the families possess, and how the...
Conference Paper
Objective: Many American households experience food insecurity, lacking consistent access to sufficient, nutritionally suitable food. According to the USDA (2012), approximately 15 percent (14.9 %) of American households were food insecure at one point during 2011. Further, one in every 17 food insecure households (5.7%) had very low food security,...
Conference Paper
Background: Household food insecurity (FI) and the more severe very low food security (VLFS) affect many families in the US. Household chaos that is often a result of poverty and the food choice coping strategies (FCCS) families use to cope may influence the severity of household food insecurity. Methods: The purpose of this study was to explore wh...
Article
Executives and foodservice managers are concerned about the possible adverse financial impact of menu labeling. To exam- ine the financial impact of four menu labeling approaches, a 23-week study was conducted in a hospital cafeteria. A quasi- experimental, single group, interrupted time-series design was used to test hypotheses that mean differenc...
Article
BACKGROUND Policies call on after-school programs (ASPs) to serve more nutritious snacks. A major barrier for improving snack quality is cost. This study describes the impact on snack quality and expenditures from a community partnership between ASPs and local grocery stores.METHODS Four large-scale ASPs (serving ˜500 children, aged 6-12 years, eac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Note: This presentation was part of a larger panel Presentation. Creating food system changes through community engagement: Strategies and perspectives Presenters correspond with summaries: 1) Mary Wilson, MPH; 2) Holly Pope, PhD, MSPH; 3) Carrie Draper, MSW; 4) Casey Childers, MA; 5) Sonya Jones, PhD The Childhood Obesity Prevention in South Ca...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The National Afterschool Association (NAA) standards specify the role of summer day camps (SDC) in promoting healthy nutrition habits of the children attending, identifying foods and beverages to be provided to children and staff roles in promoting good nutrition habits. However, many SDC do not provide meals. Currently, national guidel...
Conference Paper
The purpose of this session is to explore the most recent research funded by USDA NIFA in the AFRI Competitive Grants Program Childhood Obesity Prevention. Identifying the latest research and interventions from a variety of perspectives is important to gain a better understanding of the link between nutrition, physical activity and childhood obesit...
Conference Paper
The US has set a goal of eliminating very low food insecurity in children (VLFSC) by 2015, but little is known about why some families experience VLFSC. The Family Adjustment, Adaptation, and Response model provides a framework for examining the potential differences between VLFSC and other food-insecure families. We hypothesized that VLFSC is asso...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Children in the United States consume too few fruits and vegetables (FV). Poor diet in childhood is associated with increased risk of obesity and obesity-related disease. The Farm-to-School (F2S) movement seeks to improve the supply of FV available to children. In 2011, South Carolina (SC) piloted F2S with four components: a partnersh...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Determinants of health include policies, systems, and environments (PSE) that are designed to influence health behaviors. Little is known about designing capacity building trainings for community coalition members engaged in PSE change processes. This presentation will describe the quantitative and qualitative results of a survey completed by 75 in...
Conference Paper
Childhood obesity develops within a community context in which families have trouble accessing and affording a healthy food supply. Communities are working to improve the food system by increasing farmer's markets, food processing, and farms and gardens. Encouraging consumers to take advantage of these early efforts and participate in meaningful wa...
Conference Paper
Introduction To achieve the USDA's goal of eliminating very low food security (VLFS), a better understanding of the factors that distinguish VLFS from low food security (LFS) is needed. Historical and contemporary racial discrimination produce inequalities in housing, education, and food access, which all can decrease food security; yet, the associ...
Conference Paper
INTRODUCTION: Parents' struggles to integrate multiple demands when feeding their families often involve the use of food choice coping strategies (FCCS). Food insecure families may be particularly vulnerable to the use using greater unhealthy and fewer healthy FCCS. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between individual and contex...
Article
Full-text available
Mobile applications (apps) offer a novel way to engage children in behavior change, but little is known about content of commercially available apps for this population. We analyzed the content of apps for iPhone/iPad for pediatric weight loss, healthy eating (HE), and physical activity (PA). Fifty-seven apps were downloaded and tested by two indep...
Article
Children in food-insecure households are more likely to experience poorer health function and worse academic achievement. To investigate the relationship between economic environmental factors and food insecurity among children, we examined the relationship between general and specific food prices (fast food, fruits and vegetables, beverages) and r...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The aim of this study was to examine the differences in diet, physical activity, and weight status among children living in rural and urban America and to study the roles of obesity-related behaviors in residence-based differences in childhood obesity. Methods: We performed cross-sectional analysis of the 1999-2006 National Health an...
Article
The objective of this study was to quantify and describe the extent to which children are exposed to food insecurity across middle childhood in the United States. Specifically, we aimed to longitudinally identify (1) the prevalence of nonpersistent and persistent food insecurity in households with children between kindergarten and eighth grade and...
Article
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Health and sustainability guidelines for institutional food service are directed at improving dietary intake and increasing the ecological benefits of the food system. The development and implementation of institutional food service guidelines, such as the Health and Human Services (HHS) and General Services Administration (GSA) Health and Sustaina...
Article
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US legislatures and program administrators have sought to control the sale of foods offered outside of federally funded meal programs in schools, but little is known about which policies, if any, will prevent obesity in children. We used a theoretical policy science typology to understand the types of policy instruments used by US state governments...
Article
In this brief, we report the association between eighth-grade students' purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages and snack foods and 2 policy targets: (1) exposure to food marketing through screen-based media and (2) availability of sugar-sweetened beverages and snack foods in schools. Data were obtained from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study ei...
Article
Full-text available
We aimed to identify positive parenting practices that set children on differential weight-trajectories. Parenting practices studied were cognitively stimulating activities, limit-setting, disciplinary practices, and parent warmth. Data from two U.S. national longitudinal data sets and linear and logistic regression were used to examine association...
Article
This study evaluated the potential of youth partnerships to improve the school environment and child nutrition. A quasi-experimental trial was conducted with 2 intervention and 3 control schools. Intervention schools selected student leaders to participate in youth-led interventions in their schools. Students (n = 104) were included in the evaluati...
Article
Full-text available
Child food insecurity is measured using parental reports of children's experiences based on an adult-generated conceptualization. Research on other child experiences (e.g. pain, exposure to domestic violence) cautions that children generally best report their own experiences, and parents' reports of children's experiences may lack adequate validity...
Chapter
In this chapter we discuss the: definition of poverty and financial stress; definition of household food insecurity; prevalence of food insecurity in children in countries with developed and developing economies; impact of household food insecurity on well -being in children (health, mental, social well -being); relationship between socio -economic...
Article
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We investigated whether having a policy regarding the availability of sweetened beverages in school was associated with children's purchase and total weekly and daily consumption of sweetened beverages. Data were obtained from 10 719 children aged 9-13 years and 2065 elementary schools in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort....
Article
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We examined changes in meal selection by patrons of university food-service operations when nutrition labels were provided at the point of selection. We used a quasi-experimental, single-group, interrupted time-series design to examine daily sales before, during, and after provision of point-of-selection nutrition labels. Piecewise linear regressio...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts are needed to improve U.S. children's poor diet quality. Our purpose was to examine whether a policy that restricts the availability of snack foods in the schools is associated with greater fruit and vegetable consumption in a nationally representative sample of 5th grade children. Children in schools with restricted snack availability had...
Article
The purpose of this study was to assess the school breakfast environment in rural Appalachian schools to inform school environment intervention and policy change. A total of 4 rural schools with fourth- and fifth-grade students in East Tennessee were assessed. A cross-sectional descriptive examination of the school food environment where food servi...
Article
To assess student retention, readiness, support and outcomes among students completing the Professional Practice Program in Nutrition (PPPN). Qualitative evaluation using semistructured, in-depth interviews conducted with PPPN graduates. Course grades, grade point averages, and comprehensive exam results compared 10 PPPN students from 2 cohorts and...
Article
Full-text available
Cross-sectional data indicate that a relationship between household food insecurity and overweight exists among women in the USA. Cross-sectional data cannot determine if food insecurity leads to overweight as some have hypothesised. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship of food insecurity with subsequent weight gain in w...
Article
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Household food insecurity is associated with multiple adverse outcomes in children and adolescents, including poor school performance. U.S. federal food assistance programs such as the Food Stamp Program (FSP) aim to help prevent household food insecurity and its outcomes. Program participation may act as a resource either to counteract the effects...
Article
Full-text available
Food insecurity has been associated with overweight status in women. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain this association, some of which assume that household food insecurity is a cause of overweight. Similar to food insecurity, Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation has been associated with overweight status in women. One longitud...
Article
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Food insecurity has been associated with diverse developmental consequences for U.S. children primarily from cross-sectional studies. We used longitudinal data to investigate how food insecurity over time related to changes in reading and mathematics test performance, weight and BMI, and social skills in children. Data were from the Early Childhood...
Article
To investigate the association between distance to the closest supermarket and a composite measure of diet, the diet quality index for pregnancy (DQI-P) was constructed. Data from the Pregnancy, Infection and Nutrition (PIN) cohort, a prospective study of determinants of preterm birth, were analyzed. Food frequency questionnaires were used to const...
Article
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A quarter of US children are at increased risk of obesity-related health problems because of excess weight. The few national studies of child overweigh