USC PRC Researcher Receives Grant to Examine 'Food Deserts' in Two South Carolina Communities


Dr. Patricia Sharpe Receives NIH RO1 Grant to Conduct Research in Spartanburg and Florence

A study by researchers at the University of South Carolina will look at food shopping behaviors and access to food in Spartanburg and Florence in an effort to better understand how food choices impact health.

The areas selected for the study are considered "food deserts," said Dr. Patricia Sharpe, a researcher with the Arnold School of Public Health's Prevention Research Center.

"A 'food desert' is a federal designation given to communities, which have higher than average levels of poverty and where consumers have limited access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods," said Sharpe, who is leading the study. "These areas often lack access to supermarkets or large grocery stores that offer affordable, healthy food."

The National Institutes of Health is funding the four-year grant, which totals more than $2.1 million.

Other study investigators will include Dr. Sara Wilcox and Dr. Angela Liese of the Arnold School; Dr. Bethany Bell of the College of Education; and Dr. Sarah Battersby of the Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, see the full study from the Arnold School of Public Health here.

For more information on the project, visit the research website here.