The selected research is focused on the investigation of factors impacting healthy dietary habits and the availability of healthy food for individuals, with the authors conducting the study revealing that limited financial resources remain the central problem associated with so-called food deserts. Considering the outstanding importance of fresh products and their affordability to people, it proves the existence of a certain problem in the sphere that should be solved to improve the health of the nation.
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Defining food deserts as areas far from traditional supermarkets rich in various products, the authors emphasize the fact that the there is no research about how people living in these areas feel and what effect is caused by the poor choice of products and lack of money that can be spent to afford particular products. Therefore, the discussed study delves into the given issue and concludes that in some urban areas where food deserts can be found, local stores do not have fresh produce.
Moreover, findings show that regardless of the limited choice, the prices for available products are much higher than in areas that are considered rich in fresh products. Having interviewed residents of the neighborhood selected for the study, the authors conclude that price becomes the main factor impacting where and how often they do shopping. People who have cars or an opportunity to go to other areas prefer to visit other supermarkets; however, individuals with limited finances suffer from the lack of choice and fresh products. In such a way, price becomes the central factor impacting people living in areas called food deserts and depriving them of a chance to enjoy the healthy food or a diversity of products.
The functioning of the society can be described using various theories that are introduced to determine the peculiarities of relations between individuals and factors that precondition their actions. Rational Choice theory is one of these frameworks that are designed to describe the main features of society’s functioning. The main idea of this model is that all individuals always make choices that rest on a particular logic that guarantees benefits to them or that minimizes the input along with the maximization of output.
In other words, all decisions made by individuals are defined by the existing conditions that are taken into account and processed to ensure that the most appropriate option is selected. The central factors that stipulate cognitive processes are satisfaction and benefit; indeed, people always act in ways that guarantee that their existing needs will be fulfilled which will result in an increased level of happiness. Regarding the functioning of society, this theoretical framework is the key to the decision making and creation of conditions that will help to improve the quality of life and create the basis for further evolution.
For instance, selecting among the existing options for buying a particular good, a person will consider available finances, the quality of the selected product, its ability to satisfy current demands, and results that will be achieved if this product is bought.
The given theory can be applied to the analyzed article to describe people’s actions and understand motifs for their choices. Thus, following the rational choice model, individuals living in food deserts go to other areas to buy needed products because it contributes to the satisfaction of their needs and the benefit of this action can compensate losses. This logic determines the rational choice which is the central concept of the theory and is used by sociologists or other specialists while predicting a particular behavior or analyzing the situation to determine all factors impacting a certain sphere of social interaction.
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At the same time, persons who do not have free money prefer not to travel to other areas of the city as it is also defined by the existing conditions. Besides, the need to save money to avoid extra spending and ensure that the will be no significant deterioration of the quality of life also plays a certain role in the process. Thus, the theory is important in analyzing the evolution of people’s demand as it provides the basis for speculations about the factors that stipulate choices and make people think in a certain way.
The analyzed paper utilizes specific research methods to collect data and process them to create the basis for the discussion and conclusion. First of all, investigators stated that they conducted an in-depth interview with 42 neighborhood residents. The primary aim was to collect data about food habits and peculiarities of their shopping patterns. The second method was the assessment of the selected neighborhood in Raleigh, N.C., that is officially determined as a food desert.
This study was focused on the analysis of the available products, their price, and how the difference between areas that are rich in fresh food. The adherence to the given research methodology has several advantages that preconditioned their choice. First, a literature review is a potent tool to conduct ethnographic or phenomenological research focused on the investigation of the peculiarities of people’s attitudes to a selected phenomenon or evolution of their views.
The collected data can be considered relevant and credible as it was obtained from a primary source. Another advantage of the literature review is the ability of an investigator to design questions that should be asked to interviewers to assess the most interesting issue and guarantee that all needed data is collected. However, this method is time-consuming as specialists have to create questions, blanks, and communicated with the participants. The assessment of the selected area also can be considered a potent tool to gather the needed information and conclude about a particular issue. However, it can also demand additional resources and time; moreover, there is the need to collect credible statistical facts that should be processed by the authors.
However, there is also an opportunity for additional research that will help to collect extra information about the problem of food deserts and people’s inability to buy the products that they demand. First of all, the general level of income of the population living in the investigated area can be determined. The selected tool will help to analyze the amount of money needed to buy demanded foods and improve the quality of life.
Moreover, this analysis will help to correlate particular shopping patterns and income of individuals who have no opportunity to move to other regions to buy fresh products. Finally, the assessment of the state of health using the statistical data related to this area can be conducted to determine if the poor access to fresh products has a negative impact on the state of health. In general, the utilization of the given combined approach helps to attain higher credibility and relevance levels.