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Article Title

Accessibility to Food Intolerance and Food Allergy Resources in McLean County, Illinois: An Interdisciplinary Pilot Study

Graduation Year

2017

Abstract

Food intolerances and food allergies are evolving and diagnoses of such conditions are rapidly increasing. Yet our ancient bodies and social resources are not adapting to this dynamic environment. Accessing healthcare and allergen-free foods is necessary for all people with food allergies and intolerances, but gaps in social resources complicate acquiring these resources, especially for low-income individuals. This interdisciplinary pilot study utilizes a mixed method approach, including sociologically and anthropologically-based surveys and participant observation, respectively, and is guided by the action research approach. Data analysis illustrates major gaps in access to healthcare, specifically to dietitians, and in food acquisition from government agencies and food pantries. All grocery stores included in this study have some amount of allergen-free foods, but knowledge of these products varies drastically. The paper is concluded with a resource-neutral plan of action that aims to enhance the lives of people who suffer from food intolerances in McLean County, Illinois.

Comments

Ms. Parmely's paper was awarded University Honors.