Professor receives grant to research link between crime and nutrition

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)- The National Institute of Health is giving University of Illinois professor Chelsea Singleton thousands of dollars to study the link between violence and nutrition.
The K01 grant is the NIH’s way of giving new researchers the ability to focus on their career research goal; recipients receive 25,000 each year. Singleton sees a lack of research in the specific connection of violence affecting nutrition in black neighborhoods. She first became inspired to research food access because of personal ties.

“My dad raised my sister, my brother, and myself after my mother passed. Just seeing how far he had to travel to get food and also thinking about some of the other issues in my community like crime, you know that made me first get on the path of looking at food access”, said Singleton.
There will be a three-point study for her research.

  1. Interview food retail owners
  2. map out crime rate and food availability.
  3. Put together a group of low-income African Americans and track where they shop.

The process of making a community healthier requires different thinking; Singleton said you should think about what could limit success, such as violence. “I call it the causal pathway like we have to start thinking of some of these factors that could be affecting the work that we’re trying to do to expand healthy food retail.” Her research will start in January and will continue for five years.

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