251833 Price-related influences and trade-offs on food purchasing and consumption in African Americans. A multi-site qualitative analysis

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 12:30 PM

Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MPH , Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology; African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Katherine Disantis, PhD , African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Sonya Grier, PhD, MBA , Kogood School of Business, American University, Washington, DC
Monica L. Baskin, PhD , Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Lori Carter-Edwards, PhD , Dept. of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Angela Odoms-Young, PhD , Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Deborah Rohm-Young, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Vikki Lassiter, MS , Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, AACORN, African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network, Philadelphia, PA
BACKGROUND: The relatively greater availability and promotion of low-cost, high-calorie foods in African American compared to predominantly white communities may contribute to above average obesity prevalence. PURPOSE: To evaluate African American consumer perceptions of monetary cost and value received when purchasing foods and beverages. METHODS: Qualitative data on perceptions of food marketing environments were collected from African American adults and youth in four US cities through focus groups, photo elicitation, and semi-structured interviews. Conventional content analysis within data from each site identified themes relevant to influences of price and value on food purchases. Cross-cutting themes were identified through analyses in the combined data set. RESULTS: There was a high awareness of food prices. Tradeoffs were commonly made to keep spending within set dollar limits. The importance of saving money was often prioritized over other important considerations such as catering to family preferences or health benefits. The extra time and travel costs incurred to sometimes shop at multiple stores to save money were preferred to feeling ‘captive' in neighborhoods with limited access and unfair prices. Salient themes emerged related to: tradeoffs associated with willingness to pay higher prices; when and how considerations of product and store quality, name brands vs. “off brands”, quantity for price, convenience, perishability, and waste influenced food purchases; and influences of price-related promotions and other advertisements. CONCLUSION: These findings inform the dialogue about potential mechanisms whereby health-related policies and interventions that target food prices can have a favorable public health impact among African American adults and youth.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the perceptions of cost and value associated with food and beverage purchases across a continuum of African American perspectives. 2. Discuss how multiple considerations of African American consumers interact when purchasing foods and beverages 3. Assess the potential implications for policy development based on the perceptions of African American consumers on the role of monetary cost in food and beverage purchases.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped to coordinate the overall study and have participated in the data analysis on which this presentation is based.
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.