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Extramural Research

Communicating Strategies to Grocery Consumers to Reduce their Dietary Exposure to Chemical Pesticide Residues While Maintaining a Healthy Diet

EPA Grant Number: R825819
Title: Communicating Strategies to Grocery Consumers to Reduce their Dietary Exposure to Chemical Pesticide Residues While Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Investigators: Zimmerman, Donald E. , Cosma, Greg , Keefe, Thomas , Kendall, Pat , McDonald, Sandra , Muraski, Michel , Slater, Michael
Current Investigators: Zimmerman, Donald E. , Kendall, Pat , Slater, Michael
Institution: Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Saint, Chris
Project Period: January 1, 1998 through December 31, 2000
Project Amount: $839,624
RFA: Issues in Human Health Risk Assessment (1997)
Research Category: Human Health , Health Effects

Description:

We seek to answer the following questions: (a) What communications strategies will help consumers increase their understanding of information about the risk and benefits of pesticides on or in foods? (b) What kinds of information consumers will find most useful and motivate them to implement behaviors to reduce their exposure to pesticide residues on and in foods. (c) What key factors key will ensure the cultural acceptability of the communications to minorities and potentially susceptible populations. (d) Will an in-store public information campaign inform customers about accurate, pertinent, and useful information about pesticide residues in or on foods, sound nutrition, and strategies to reduce exposures to the chemical pesticide residues?

Approach:

We propose a two-phase design. In Phase I, we will conduct three research tasks: (1) analyze consumers? (shoppers?) understanding of pesticide residues, nutrition, and strategies to reduce exposures, (2) use an iterative, formative evaluation to develop posters and brochures; (3) use an iterative, formative evaluation to develop an interactive kiosk with in-depth information. The content information will be on nutrition, pesticide residues, and strategies for reducing pesticide residues in or on fruits and vegetables. A technical advisory board (supermarket, trade association, university extension service representatives and a toxicologist) will guide our development of content for the posters, brochures, and kiosk. Communication and nutrition education research will guide our design of the posters, brochures, and kiosk. Our research methodology for Task 1 will be focus groups of consumers (four groups--Anglos, Latinos, African Americans, and pregnant women or with infants or children under 18 years old). Our research methodology for Task 2 will be an experimental message testing of consumers (four groups--Anglos, Latinos, African Americans, and pregnant women or with infants or children under 18 years old). Our research methodology for Task 3 will be usability of consumers (four groups--Anglos, Latinos, African Americans, and pregnant women or with infants or children under 18 years old). In Phase II we will conduct a five-week health communication campaign in the produce section of one supermarkets serving primarily Anglos customer and one supermarket serving Latinos, elderly and lower-income customers. We will conduct exit interviews of customers (control) prior to health campaign, and then display the posters brochures and kiosk. During the five weeks, we will observe customers? use of the posters, brochures, and kiosk, and then conduct exit interviews of a sample of at least 350 customers. One month after the in-store display, we will conduct a telephone survey of customers interviewed during the exit interviews.

Expected Results:

The project will (a) demonstrate the complexities, issues, and problems associated with communicating information about nutrition, pesticide residues, and strategies for reducing pesticide residues in consumers' diets; (b) identify the differences between different customers (Anglos, Latino, African-Americans, and pregnant women and women with infants and children) and how they understand the complexities of nutrition, pesticide residues, and strategies for reducing pesticides residues in their diets; (c) demonstrate how a formative evaluation/research process produces posters, brochures, and a prototype for an interactive kiosk that communicate more effectively to customers in general and different groups of customers (Anglos, Latino, African-Americans, and pregnant women and women with infants and children); (d) produce posters, introductory-brochures, in-depth brochures, and a software for an interactive kiosk that can serve as the prototypes for masters that EPA could use to guide its future development of information for supermarkets across the nation; (e) provide lessons learned from which guidance can be developed on how the information can be more effectively display and present information in the supermarket; (f) provide lessons learned in how to conduct an in-store information campaign on nutrition, pesticide residues in or on food, and strategies for reducing pesticide residues in the diet; (g) provide a prototype software for an interactive kiosk that can not only be used as module for developing in-depth interactive kiosk; the same design and content (HTML code) can be used to develop a Web site on nutrition, pesticides, and pesticide reduction strategies; and (h) advance society's understanding of nutrition education, risk communication, and health communication as related to diet.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 15 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

pesticide-nutrition education research, environmental communication research, risk communication research, point of purchase nutrition education research, message design., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, pesticides, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, Social Science, pesticide exposure, sensitive populations, surveys, lower income consumers, outreach material, health risks, toxicology, cultural acceptibility, ethnic, exposure, developmental effects, ethnicity, human exposure, pesticide residues, minorities, nutritional information, consumer behavior, environmental toxicant, exposure pathways, grocery consumers, race ethnicity, public information campaign, epidemeology, environmentally caused disease, pesticide residue, dietary exposure, outreach and education, developmental disorders, web development

Progress and Final Reports:
1998 Progress Report
1999 Progress Report
2000 Progress Report
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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