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GPS to play key role in food shopping study

by GPS4US 2013-07-19 17:33
GPS units will figure prominently into a new University of Kentucky study tracking food shopping patterns.

The US Department of Agriculture recently awarded a $149, 074 grant for a study titled “Adolescent and Parent Food Activity Patterns as Drivers of Food Choice and Behaviors,” CNN reported.

Some families in the study will wear GPS units to allow researchers to conduct “an objective measure of the food environment,” according to the proposal.

“The GPS will help us map out a travel pattern, the geographic space and the number of food venues in this space. As well as the type -- grocery stores, gas stations or super centers,” the study’s primary director, Professor Alison Gustafson told CNN.

The project is designed to shed light on the “drivers of food shopping patterns, behaviors and food purchasing choices within the food activity space among adolescents and their parents.”

Gustafson said the study will also compare the food buying habits of children when they are with friends to when they are with their parents. Gustason said she expects to see a marked difference.

Gustafson said she hopes the study will lead to an “intervention” that aims to change food shopping habits.

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