I have been writing my research interest statement which is a required first step in preparing for my comprehensive exams. I take my exams at the end of the summer. The statement isn't a statement in the sense of it being a sentence, or even a paragraph. It is to be 2-3 pages long. My draft is a full three pages and I feel good about it, but my professors have to review it and that always means more writing is ahead. I am particularly partial to one section that I wish to share here with you - even in its current version.
As you are certainly aware, my interests involve the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Informed Eating. I also speak of location and food deserts in my blog posts. Food deserts have been in the news lately (for a different reason) and I have some of the recent studies set aside to read.
Location is included in my research interests though I am beginning to see it a little differently now. I don't think that the way to reduce chronic disease and obesity rates in impoverished neighborhoods is as simple as providing a grocery store, or even my favorite, a "healthy" local corner store. Instead, I believe that there is an underlying psychosocial stressor inherent in a neighborhood so poor that certain retailers won't sell there. For the adults who live in food deserts, this stress may lead to a sense of helplessness and lack of agency. It is that powerlessness that could leave them feeling that it is no use - and thus healthful eating - well, it isn't even on the radar. YES - the neighborhoods should be improved and healthy food options provided, especially to get in front of this for children, but again, not quite that simply.
So - I think that really is enough for one post - I will share my specific writing on access in another post, likely Monday bc tomorrow is O&Es.