Description of the video:
Mecca Burris, a Ph.D. student at Indiana University is conducting a 12-month research project on food insecurity among teens in rural Indiana communities.
Why is food studying teen food insecurity important?
Mecca: “This is another very critical period of the life course where nutrition and access to food is very important because it is the only other time besides infancy when your growth rate accelerates and so adolescents need more food than adults and younger children and they have increases appetites and this can be a burden on the household”.
Burris grew up in Mitchell, Indiana, a small town where she witnessed poverty and food insecurity.
Mecca: “Growing up my mom was a single mother. She was nurse and until she became a nurse practitioner, we were, I would say, probably food insecure. We didn’t have a lot of money and we definitely ate the way that we notice now the parallels and patterns that people who are food insecure eat”.
Why is it important to focus research on rural communities?
Mecca: “Because they have been left out and I feel there’s a gap and there’s a need to know what life is like in rural America and what are the challenges in rural America because so much has been focused on the cities and urbanization and the challenges that come with, even food desert research is primarily focused on inner city food deserts. So yeah, I think that it’s important for us to not forget about this part of our country”.
What is the research project’s end goal?
Mecca: “The goal is change. The goal is to try and show the barriers and vulnerabilities that teens face. But also take their recommendations, from the teens themselves to the community, to the schools, to the pantry’s, whoever is involved in making change in a way that can target teens, then we want that message to get out and we hopefully want to work with them to apply the research”.