Jared T. McGuirt

Associate Professor


Email Address: jtmcguir@uncg.edu

Phone: 336.256.0322


Dr. Jared McGuirt was born and raised in rural eastern North Carolina. He has extensive experience developing, implementing, and evaluating community food access programs and policies throughout North Carolina, particularly around local food systems and the retail food environment.

Dr. McGuirt’s primary research interest focuses on evaluating practical and sustainable approaches that improve people’s dietary behaviors within the context of where they live, work, and play. His philosophy is to “meet people where they are” to help them improve their diet.  This includes food environment and food access interventions which often include digital technology-based approaches (including mobile phone applications and virtual reality).  He also aims to understand the influence of the built food environment on shopping, dietary behaviors, and health outcomes using Geographic Information Systems mapping software.  His research is conducted in the retail food environment, urban and rural communities, worksites, and military installations.


Digital technologies for nutrition education and behavior, multi-level community and clinical interventions, food access, retail food environment, GIS and spatial analysis, racial and geographic health disparities, rural health.


  • Using virtual reality to improve youth cardiometabolic health.
  • Using digital technologies to improve worksite dietary behaviors, including military installations.
  • Online grocery shopping innovations to reduce rural health disparities.
  • Geospatial analysis of pandemic and summer school meal site placement.


  • McGuirt, J.T, Enahora, B. Dyson, O., Tripicchio G, Mallard L, and Rhea, C., 2021. Virtual Avatar Coaching With Community Context for Adult-Child Dyads with Low Income. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. March 2021
  • McGuirt, J.T., Wu, Q., Laska, M.N., Truesdale, K.P., Rafferty, A.P., Bell, R.A., Ammerman, A.S. and Pitts, S.B.J., 2020. Associations between shopping patterns, dietary behaviours and geographic information system-assessed store accessibility among small food store customers. Public health nutrition, pp.1-10.
  • McGuirt JT, Gustafson A, Ammerman AS, Tucker-McLaughlin M, Enahora B, Moore C, Dunnagan D, Prentice-Dunn H, Bedno S. EatWellNow: Formative Development of a Place-Based Behavioral “Nudge” Technology Intervention to Promote Healthier Food Purchases among Army Soldiers. Nutrients. 2022; 14(7):1458. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071458
  • McGuirt JT, Pitts SB, Ward R, Crawford TW, Keyserling TC, Ammerman AS. Examining the influence of price and accessibility on willingness to shop at farmers’ markets among low-income eastern North Carolina women. Journal of nutrition education and behavior. 2014 Jan 31;46(1):26-33.
  • McGuirt JT, Ward R, Elliott NM, Bullock SL, Pitts SB. Factors influencing local food procurement among women of reproductive age in rural eastern and western North Carolina, USA. Journal of agriculture, food systems, and community development. 2014;4(4):143.
  • McGuirt JT, Pitts SB, Ammerman A, Prelip M, Hillstrom K, Garcia RE, McCarthy WJ. A mixed methods comparison of urban and rural retail corner stores. AIMS Public Health, 2015, 2(3): 554-582. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2015.3.554