Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Interis, Matthew G.

Committee Member

Collart, Alba J.

Committee Member

Morgan, Kimberly L.

Committee Member

Walters, Lurleen M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


Health motivation is found to be a significant driver of local foods purchase (Maples et al., 2013; Onozaka, Nurse, and McFadden, 2010), yet it remains unclear what specific health aspects determine consumer purchase decisions. We study the specific health factors focusing on six particular diseases: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, back/joint pain and Alzheimer’s/dementia to find out whether a relationship exists between disease incidences and consumer decisions to buy local foods. We examine two separate decisions of whether and how frequently southeastern consumers buy local foods in a two-step decision framework known as Double Hurdle model. Results indicate that cancer, diabetes, obesity and back/joint pain are statistically significant to purchase foods at farm stands. Findings might help local food sellers and product marketers in the southeastern United States to gain a deeper understanding of how consumers’ health background and health concerns affect their choice of local food outlets.