Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science

Committee Chair(s)

Carrie Durward


Carrie Durward


Heidi Wengreen


Mateja R. Savoie-Roskos


Peter Howe


Kynda Curtis


On average, low-income individuals have poorer diet quality compared to their high-income counterparts. However, improved food access may offer opportunities to improve diet among this population. This study examines how the low-income population navigates between barriers, resources, and opportunities to acquire healthy foods in different settings.

Chapter 3 examined how the use of a farmers’ market incentive program among the low-income population impacts F&V consumption. We observed no effect on F&V consumption due to program participation but users of the program have a significantly higher F&V consumption than non-users. Chapter 4 identified transportation difficulties as a barrier to the uptake of farmer’s market incentive program and that larger families may be less likely to take advantage of opportunities provided by farmer’s market incentive programs. Chapter 5 examined the association between factors that influence food choices (taste, price, convenience, concern for nutrition, and concern for weight) and food access and availability in the home. We found that certain behaviors (concern for nutrition) exhibited within the food purchase environment may impact food access and availability in the home.

We conclude that more efforts and interventions that target improving consumer’s perceived importance for nutrition and transportation access to food resources are needed; especially among low-income population with low F&V consumption. In addition, information and financial access to food resource opportunities should be expanded, specifically among those with low F&V consumption and expanding the food incentives for larger families should be considered.



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