Assessing availability of healthy options in food stores to guide community transformation grant activities in Massachusetts
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.
Availability of healthy options in food stores is important to preventing obesity. The Mass in Motion Initiative and two Community Transformation Grant (CTG) projects are conducting statewide longitudinal surveys on availability of major healthy and unhealthy food items in foods stores in Massachusetts (MA). The Community Nutrition Environment Evaluation Data System (C-NEEDS) was developed for food environment surveillance. C-NEEDS takes into account seasonal and geographic variations in food supplies, cultural relevance, and USDA dietary recommendations. Between summer 2012 and winter 2013, 182 food stores in 52 municipalities were surveyed and analyzed. Healthy food availability index (HFAI) was calculated. HFAI has a possible range of 0 to 37, with a higher score indicating a greater availability. Community-level variations in HFAI were analyzed in relation to median household income and housing density. The HFAI scores had good to excellent inter- and intra-rater reliabilities. Store-level HFAI scores had a bimodal distribution, with over 60% of the stores having a score <15, and approximately 15% having a near perfect score of >30. Higher scores were more likely to be seen in stores located in affluent, low density communities. The majority of the surveyed stores were low in healthy food availability. Analysis of store- and community-level variations in availability is useful for CTG programs to formulate and prioritize interventions. The public health importance of evaluating healthy food availibility within food stores, and not just the food stores presence in the community will help evaluate the effectiveness of CTG interventions.
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Evaluate community-level variation in availability of healthy food options in grocery stores.
Assess commmunity-level predictors of healthy food availability such as housing density and median household income.
Discuss potential use of the data to inform public health organizations about community actions to address lack of availability of healthy food options in communties.
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the nutritional epidemiology of chronic disease. Among my scientific interests has been the development of individual and public health strategies for improving nutrition while reducing weight concerns.
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.