Monetary and Nonmonetary Cost Factors in the Cycle of Unhealth
Policymakers have long suggested a need to overhaul supplemental nutrition assistance programs in the USA to save taxpayer money. However, these efforts are often met with resistance because cutting costs is often paired with reducing the quality of diet which can result in even greater costs in government-provided healthcare. This research takes a consumer-driven perspective and explores the cost factors driving food purchases for low-income, urban consumers in order to better understand the ways that the current food marketing system is failing to provide this population with value. The samples include a 32-person sample from a low-income urban area in North Carolina as well as a 52-person general population sample taken from Amazon mTurk. This exploratory research shows that low-income consumers tend to rely more heavily on well-known food and are most concerned about the cognitive burden and time required to prepare meals at home. These findings can be used to better understand the shopping decisions of low-income consumers and for policy makers to design higher value supplemental nutrition programs to address these concerns.
KeywordsFood marketing Obesity Economic mobility Shopping Poverty Supermarket
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