Lack of access to healthy foods disproportionately impacts adolescents. This mixed-methods study used photovoice to explore everyday lived experiences of food access among teens from low-income families, empowering them to share their stories. Sixty-three diverse teens (12-17 years) from across one Midwest state took images and created narratives to support community presentations. Independent content analysis identified themes. Researchers used t tests to compare pre-post differences (p < 0.05) for two scales related to empowerment and positive youth development. Themes suggest teens take on adult responsibilities relative to food access, generally selecting unhealthy foods. Families and after-school programs were critical to food‐related experiences, with cultural differences noted. A statistically significant increase, t(58) = -2.225, p = .032, was noted for “most community leaders in my city would listen to me.” Findings support the need to address factors contributing to difficulties accessing healthy foods in home and community settings.


This is the accepted manuscript of Simpson, Vicki & Pedigo, Lindsey & Rodriguez, Muna. (2020). Healthy Food Access and Low-Income Teens: A Photovoice Approach. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 43. 019394592096380. 10.1177/0193945920963800.


Adolescent, community-engaged research, food supply, poverty, empowerment, positive youth development

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