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YPIE Scientist: Samra Shabir

Updated: May 31, 2023

Research: Behavioral Economic Survey Measuring Dietary Habits and Consumer Patterns of the Yonkers’ Downtown Community

Awards: WESEF 2023 - Creative Approach to Research Award, WESEF 2023- 4th place Behavioral Science, Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022


Measuring dietary habits and determining consumer patterns are two extremely essential factors when it comes to public health and market research. It is noticed that there are many health issues rising in low-income populations, especially due to covid-19 which has increased the unemployment rates and because of that the lower-income people are not able to afford a healthy lifestyle. Farmers’ Markets are seen as a sign of rising gentrification in the community. So, it is crucial to find out what the residents feel about their current grocery shopping habits in the community. The first part of the research was to obtain foot traffic from Van Der Donck Park, which determined the gender, the age, the presence of a pet and determined if they have any belongings with them, etc. The next step was to conduct a survey on Microsoft Forms and distribute it among the residents of the zip codes of 10701, 10703, and 10705 through the snowball method of distribution. The survey included 5 sections: introduction, consent, location, demographic information, and grocery habits. Through the survey responses, the grocery habits of the residents were analyzed, and it was found that 28.4% of people strongly agreed to having a Farmers’ Market in their community, 39.4% agreed to having a Farmers’ Market in their community, 51% of the people travel less than 5 miles to buy their groceries, 50% of the people bought their groceries once a week and many other connections were seen. In conclusion, the residents of the community would like to see a Farmers’ Market in their community. Further research includes conducting the survey again after the Farmers’ Market is opened and then making comparisons based on answers before and after the opening of the farmers’ market.

About this Scientist:

Samra Shabir is a senior at Saunders Trades and Technical High School who will be attending Barnard College of Columbia University in the fall, majoring in Cognitive Science. With an extensive interest in various fields mainly focused on the combination of science and business with psychological factors, Samra devoted her attention to her research on measuring dietary habits and consumer patters of the Yonkers’ downtown community to give a creative approach to science research while helping out her community. With a hope of becoming a data analyst, a Doctor of Public Health and Doctor of Health Administration, she hopes to continue her research on bigger scales and analyze the food inequities and food insecurities in the community while presenting the possible solutions that can be taken to prevent the issues that our community faces.

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