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Virtual Grocery Tours Highlighting Healthy Options for Low Income Communities

Last Updated: July 12, 2021

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Description

Healthy eating has been consistently shown to improve numerous aspects of a person’s health. In recent years, volumes of research have been published showing precise health benefits. Despite healthcare professionals increasing emphasis on healthy eating, medically underserved communities represent a specific group that has been neglected in these efforts. These communities have significant challenges when it comes to eating healthy due to the higher perceived cost of healthier foods and usually a lower level of education regarding health and wellness. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity may have been further exacerbated by financial instability and increased stress in vulnerable populations. To address the growing issue of food insecurity, our organization has partnered with Root Cause, a free, monthly community health event hosted by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville in partnership with Prisma Health. Along with Root Cause, we showcased the virtual tours in Dunean, South Carolina, an area that is considered to be a food desert as indicated by the SC Food Desert Map. Prerecorded 360 videos of tours demonstrating affordable, healthy alternatives can be viewed at these events with virtual reality goggles. We recorded 2 videos that highlighted tours in a local grocery store and in a gas station with the goal of sharing a message that healthy eating is available and accessible in a variety of shopping locations. By introducing small changes that can make a big impact on health, we hope that participants will be able to make adjustments to their typical shopping routine in a sustainable way that works with their budget. These changes will allow participants to see that a healthy diet is attainable for them, allowing for more healthy choices in the future.

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Authors

Alyssa A. Guo, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville (aaguo@email.sc.edu)
Rachel R. Hall, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Zoey E. Morton, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Lauren Tyler, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Lauren A. Fowler, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

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