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Thesis Defence: “Trying to navigate something that’s like using a dingy with holes in it versus an actual boat”: A needs assessment for type 2 diabetes prevention at the Central Okanagan Food Bank

December 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jenna Sim, supervised by Dr. Mary Jung, will defend their thesis titled “’Trying to navigate something that’s like using a dingy with holes in it versus an actual boat’: A needs assessment for type 2 diabetes prevention at the Central Okanagan Food Bank” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Health and Exercise Sciences.

An abstract for Jenna Sim’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.


People experiencing food insecurity are two times more likely to have type 2 diabetes
(T2D) than individuals who are food secure. Diabetes prevention program (DPPs) have been
effective at helping individuals reduce risk of T2D but have struggled to reach individuals
experiencing food insecurity. There is a need to understand the experience of being at high risk
for T2D while living with food insecurity so that appropriate T2D prevention services can be
developed for this population. This study aimed to a) learn what factors influenced people with
food insecurity’s interest and ability to know T2D risk and engage in T2D preventative
behaviours and b) what factors influenced the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s (COFB) interest
and ability in delivering T2D prevention services. Six COFB users participated in focus groups
to learn what factors influenced engagement in T2D preventative behaviours. Five COFB
employees participated in semi-structured interviews to learn what influenced the COFB’s ability
to provide T2D prevention services to their users. The focus groups and interviews were
analyzed inductively using reflexive thematic analysis and then deductively coded as barriers or
facilitators and then to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Inductive analysis of the
focus groups resulted in the construction of three themes: Using the food bank: pulled in two
directions, knowledge is both opportunity and responsibility, and competing priorities. Two
themes were constructed from the interviews with COFB staff: A dream: the desire to help in all
aspects of wellbeing, and the reality: under pressure. The most frequently TDF domain in
barriers for both the focus group and the interviews was environmental context and resources,
coded 46 and 36 times, respectively. People experiencing food insecurity know and want to
engage in T2D preventative behaviours and that food bank employees want to offer T2D
prevention services, but both groups lack the resources to do so. The findings from this study can
offer insights for how DPPs can be designed or adapted to meet the needs of people experiencing
food insecurity, and how food banks can be supported to offer T2D prevention services.


December 21, 2023
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Engineering, Management, and Education Building (EME)
1137 Alumni Ave
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
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Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Health, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates