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What You Can Learn at the Grocery Store



What You Can Learn at the Grocery Store  | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Student Scoop Blog

Lily Darbishire This featured post is by Lily Darbishire.

During my dietetic internship I had the opportunity to complete a six-week rotation with retail dietitians at a local grocery store in Springfield, Mo. In this rotation, I focused on the local rural community. In rural communities, people may be at a disadvantage when it comes to quality nutrition due to increased travel time to supermarkets, the expense of healthy foods and a lack of nutrition knowledge.

My goal was to provide free nutrition education to shoppers. I thought the best way to achieve this goal would be by providing scheduled 15-minute group tours of the store, plus one-on-one tours for those interested. In the scheduled group tours, I focused on specific topics, from how to read a food label to nutrition buzzwords to advice on eating well on a budget. Then, I spent downtime at a table near the store entrance or deli section promoting my tours, providing food samples and assisting customers with making healthy shopping decisions.

I used surveys to evaluate my teaching methods and to assess if the tours were working. Between the store tours, food sampling and project promotion, I spoke with more than 200 people. From the comments on the surveys, I learned that the shoppers valued one-on-one tours more than scheduled group tours. The survey results also said that every tour participant learned at least one piece of nutrition information that they did not know before. 

I have found readily available, accurate and reliable nutrition information at grocery stores can really make a difference Tweet this and is needed in rural communities.


​Lily Darbishire is studying for a Master's in Public Health at Missouri State University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
 

(Photo: VladislavStarozhilov/iStock/Thinkstock)

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