Food Assistance & Food InsecurityPoverty & InequalityNational Welfare Data Set

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Alison Gustafson is an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of Kentucky. Her research looks at community food environment and its impact on rural people. Alison has a focus in prevention of obesity and behavioral approaches to management of chronic disease. In a recent project that evaluated a community-based approach to improving nutrition in six rural Kentucky counties (Clinton, Elliott, Letcher, Lewis, Logan, and Martin), Alison and her colleagues investigated the impact of a Cooperative Extension program that sought to organize community efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity. The research assessed how diets, exercise, and obesity were affected by local efforts to improve the focus on healthy lifestyles. The research found that these coordinated community efforts improved fruit and vegetable intake among survey participants and increased awareness of the need for places to facilitate physical activity. The research was published in the January 2019 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease. Alison is the principal investigator on multiple USDA-funded projects that look at the intersection of food environments and individual behaviors in rural and isolated communities. In addition to articles in Preventing Chronic Disease, Alison has also published work in the International Journal of Environmental Rural Public Health, Journal of Rural Health, and Preventative Medicine Reports, among others. Visit Alison’s faculty Web page.


Mission Statement

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit academic research center established in 2002. Our research informs evidence-based policy on the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty, inequality, and food insecurity in the United States.

UKCPR is a member of the Collaborative of Poverty Centers sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with underwriting from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The other member poverty centers are located at Columbia UniversityHoward University, Stanford University, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of Washington. The goal of the CPC is to improve the effectiveness of public policies to reduce poverty and inequality and their impacts on the well-being of the American people.