(11-14-13) Very little celery. An overabundance of potatoes. Mountains of boxed starches, like rice and white bread, as well as dried beans, sweet potatoes, cornbread and collard greens. But how does understanding what lines the grocery store shelves in rural Appalachia impact the way residents and public health workers combat issues like diabetes and obesity?
That's the subject of PhD candidate Esther Thatcher's dissertation, which aims to help identify the variety of food factors that public health workers, nurses and others can potentially use to combat chronic health problems.
“There’s been a rapid shift from a labor force made up of jobs that entail hard, physical labor to jobs that are much more sedentary,” she explains, “and meals haven’t really changed. Food here is still defined by very strong traditions, and remains central to gatherings and cultural identity.” >>