See what research our faculty is doing to study food consumption.

  • Upstate Community Survey

      Kerstin Blomquist

      Description: This is a community-based participatory research study with Brutontown and North Main residents to evaluate and promote physical health and well-being in their communities. This three-part project aims to assess and improve the health behaviors, resources, and attitudes of residents in two Upstate communities. The first step comprises forming focus groups within each community to hear directly from residents about concerns and interests regarding community health. After generating residents' interests and concerns, a structured survey will be developed that captures concerns raised in the focus groups. The third step involves establishing and evaluating collaborative community-based interventions to improve weight- and eating-related health behaviors in these communities.

      Duration of Study: May 2012 – Ongoing
      Contributors: Alicia Powers (Faculty), Allie Moench (Student), Kelsey Bing (Student), and Amy Adams (Student)

  • A Comparative Analysis of Consumer Profiles among Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs Across the Upstate of South Carolina

      Weston Dripps
      Earth and Environmental Sciences

      Description: This study takes a comprehensive and comparative analysis of consumer profiles (demographics, attitudes) among farmers' markets and community supported agriculture programs across the Upstate of South Carolina. Demographic parameters include attributes like age, marital status, gender, income, employment, and education among others. Attitudes consider personal lifestyles and reasons for attending farmers' markets or participating in CSA programs. An assessment of these profiles will not only provide a better understanding of the state of the local foods movement here in the Upstate, but also perhaps, as importantly, help identify if there are underrepresented local demographic groups within these marketplaces and programs.

      Duration of Study: June 2012 - May 2013
      Collaborators: Michelle Horhota (Faculty) and Mary Soike (Student)

  • Hispanic Cultures Through Food

      Ron Friis
      MLL - Spanish

      Description: This research explored different aspects of food production and consumption as they relate to Spanish and Spanish American cultures during a 2009 May Experience Course. The students explored the complex web of connections between crops, ecology, farming life, politics and fast or slow food cultures by shopping and preparing authentic Spanish and Spanish American dishes and taking small field trips to local markets and restaurants. This research will be continued in future Spanish courses.

      Duration of Study: Ongoing
      Collaborators: May X and Semester Students
      Published Research: Yes

  • Food Literacy Project

      Si Pearman
      Health Sciences

      Description: This research involves assessing the basic knowledge of college age students about where their food supplies originate - in other words, what types of food systems provide some of the common foods that they eat.

      Duration of Study: August 2012 - Ongoing
      Collaborators: Carmel Price (Faculty), Michele Horhota (Faculty), Sarah Harrison (Student), Katherine Kransteuber (Shi Center)

  • Determination of Food Deserts in Greenville County, South Carolina

      Alicia Powers
      Health Sciences

      Description: It is common to use proximity of food establishments as a proxy of the consumer nutrition environment (CNE). On the contrary, measurement of the CNE at the micro-level provides for determination of foods available, pricing and quality. It has been established that macro- and micro-level analyses of the CNE could determine causal factors in unhealthy lifestyle choices and thus obesity. The purpose of this study is to precisely define food deserts using food availability, quality and pricing at food establishments as determined by the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey to determine the location of food deserts in Greenville County.

      Duration of Study: Summer 2010 - Ongoing
      Collaborators: Lexie Lipham (Student) and Katie Ward (Student)
      Published Research: Yes

  • The Impact of Social Product Labels on Sales of Nondurable Goods

      Jeanine Stratton
      Business and Accounting

      Description: Social product labels (SPLs) are labels that declare environmental claims, or how a good was manufactured, which are critical stimuli for consumer decisions. SPLs include logos, such as Fair Trade and Direct Trade, on nondurable goods. The current investigation considered the conditions under which consumers are exposed to environmental stimuli that may influence in-store purchase behavior. Survey research suggests consumer willingness to pay more for goods with SPLs. This research investigates the impact of point of purchase (POP) advertising on sales of SPL nondurable goods sold in privately owned coffee shops.

      Duration of Study: 2011 - Ongoing
      Collaborators: Matt Werner (Student), Devon Baratta (Student), and Haley Jones (Student)

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