266601 Assessment of a Community-Based Healthy Corner Store Program (FIT Store) in Low-income, Urban, and Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods in Michigan

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hye-Jin Paek, PhD , Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Hanyang University, Ansan, South Korea
Tracy Thompson, MPH Candidate , Institute for Health Care Studies, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI
John Risley, PhD , Community Research Institute Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI
Hyun Jung Oh , Advertising, PR, & Retailing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Yumi Jung , Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media (TISM), Michigan State University, EAST Lansing, MI
Katherine Alaimo, PhD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Objectives: This study evaluated the FIT store program, a social marketing and community-based healthy corner store program to improve the affordability and availability of healthy foods in low-income, urban, and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Michigan. The program was one component of a comprehensive school-, community-based program, Project FIT, for promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

Method: The Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) was conducted in FIT (N= 4) and non-FIT (N= 4) stores before and after the intervention to assess the availability and price of healthy food categories. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted among the FIT store customers before (N=401) and after (N=318) the intervention to assess awareness of and attitudes toward the intervention, perceived changes about the stores, and behaviors regarding healthy food purchase and consumption.

Result: After the intervention, FIT stores offered fresh fruits, frozen/canned vegetables, whole wheat bread, lean ground beef and reduced fat frozen dinners more than before the intervention. However, changes in prices for healthy foods were inconsistent across the stores. In comparison, non-FIT stores offered fewer healthy options during the same time period. Most survey participants reported noticeable changes in the FIT stores with regard to nutrition education, and making healthy foods more available and visible. Perceived changes and awareness of the intervention were associated with buying and consuming healthy foods.†

Conclusion: The FIT store program improved offering and purchasing of healthy foods. More systematic efforts are needed to make healthy foods more affordable and to accurately assess the change of affordability.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
- To evaluate the healthy corner store program (FIT Store) in in Low-Income, Urban, and Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods - To discuss what worked and what didnít in the healthy corner store program

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was mainly in charge of assessing the FIT store program
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.