The items that find their way into our shopping carts and subsequently, into our homes are selected for a variety of reasons. A great deal of research has been conducted on consumer habits around fast-food consumption and take-out, and the role of each in the obesity epidemic, but little is known about how grocery-shopping decisions are made or the extent to which health is a part of that decision-making process. Using participant observation techniques and semi-structured interview, the investigator accompanied 31 residents of Brooklyn, NY while they shopped. The participants, who came from two neighborhoods of contrasting socioeconomic status, Downtown Brooklyn and East New York, spoke of the importance of a number of factors including cost/value, health, quality, taste, location/access, class and culture; and how these factors affect decision-making. Two interesting themes emerged from the data that are reflective of historical and social influences on the foodscapes of two generations of shoppers. Older study participants, held to a certain set of values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding food, which differed substantially from those of their younger counterparts in the sample. Among the youngest of participants, the data revealed that they fell into two groups; shoppers for whom time and convenience were of primary importance and shoppers for whom food purchases were a reflection of their social and political identities. Also emerging from the data was evidence that, in general, participants' knowledge of food is shallow and the decisions they make in the grocery store are largely based on inauthentic knowledge. Based on this sample, a depth of knowledge around the food system produced more authentic knowledge that led to healthier purchases.
|Advisor:||Levin, Betty Wolder|
|Commitee:||Deutsch, Jonathan M., Hauck-Lawson, Annie S., Lennon, Mary Clare|
|School:||City University of New York|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Home economics, Nutrition, Public health, Health education|
|Keywords:||Consumer behavior, Dietary knowledge, Food studies, Grocery shopping, Health education, Home economics, Nutrition|
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