202745 Vendor attitudes towards stocking healthy foods: A comparison of WIC and non-WIC food retailers in Connecticut

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:10 AM

Ann E. Bellenger, MPH , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Tatiana Andreyeva, PhD , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD , Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Michael W. Long, MPH , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
In October 2009, Connecticut will implement the 2007 Women, Infant, and Children Reauthorization Act, adding fruits and vegetables, and increasing whole grains and low fat dairy available to WIC-eligible low income families. Food vendors can play an influential role in determining the variety and quality of foods stocked to meet this new demand.

Purpose: To create an assessment tool to systematically measure small food retailer's attitudes towards offering healthy foods, perceived demand for and profitability of healthy foods, and barriers and supports to offering healthy food before and after the policy implementation.

Design: In early 2009, an in-store survey was developed, piloted, and conducted with a sample of 74 small food vendors in Connecticut. All WIC stores in five economically diverse towns were sampled (n=37), along with control, non-WIC stores (n=37), matched by neighborhood and store type.

Results: The presentation will detail pre-policy store demographics, supplier networks, and stocking behavior. Analyses will compare store vendor's perceived demand and profitability for healthy foods across each food category, and then by store type and WIC status. Perceived responsibility in offering healthy food, barriers to stocking healthy foods, as well as institutional supports needed to assist stocking (i.e. trainings, equipment and food-related tax incentives, etc.) will be reviewed. Attitudes towards the upcoming WIC food package change, and the WIC program overall will be presented for WIC-authorized stores.

Discussion: The implementation and accuracy of the tool, as well as next steps in modifying the tool will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe differences in food retailerís perceived demand for and profitability of healthy foods by food category, store type, and WIC status. Name the key reported barriers and institutional supports to increasing healthy foods in small retail establishments. Describe components of a survey protocol that were most effective in engaging food vendors in in-person, in-store surveys.

Keywords: WIC, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed my Masters in Public Health studies in May 2008, where my studies focused on the social, behavioral, and geographic determinants of health. With my current position with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity I have further developed my knowledge on the determinants of healthy food consumption in low income populations. I have a broad experience in planning, coordinating and implementing community-based programs to improve children's nutrition and physical activity, and presented a poster at APHA in 2007. I have developed, trained, and implemented surveys on a broad range of topics in domestic and international settings. Developed surveys have assessed reach and recall surveys for communication campaigns, HIV Stigma in police officer populations, and male's self-reported supports and barriers to accessing regular health care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.