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The proportion of unhealthy foodstuffs children are exposed to at the checkout of convenience supermarkets

  • Jason A Horsley (a1), Katie AR Absalom (a2), Evie M Akiens (a2), Robert J Dunk (a2) and Alice M Ferguson (a2)...

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the proportion of foods that are unhealthy to which children are exposed at the checkout of convenience supermarkets.

Design

We performed a cross-sectional survey of foodstuffs displayed at the checkout. Products displayed at or below children's eye-level were designated as healthy, unhealthy or unclassifiable using the Food Standards Agency's scoring criteria.

Setting

Thirteen convenience supermarkets from the three leading UK supermarket chains were selected on the basis of proximity to the town hall in Sheffield, England.

Subjects

Convenience supermarkets were defined as branches of supermarket chains that were identified as being other than superstores on their company's store locator website.

Results

In almost all of the convenience supermarkets surveyed, the main healthy product on display was sugar-free chewing gum. On average, when chewing gum was not included as a foodstuff, 89% of the products on display at the checkouts of convenience supermarkets were unhealthy using the Food Standards Agency's criteria. One store was a notable outlier, providing only fruit and nuts at its checkout.

Conclusions

The overwhelming majority of products to which children are exposed at the convenience supermarket checkout are unhealthy. This is despite all the supermarket chains surveyed having signed up to the UK Government's ‘responsibility deal’.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email j.horsley@sheffield.ac.uk

References

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Keywords

The proportion of unhealthy foodstuffs children are exposed to at the checkout of convenience supermarkets

  • Jason A Horsley (a1), Katie AR Absalom (a2), Evie M Akiens (a2), Robert J Dunk (a2) and Alice M Ferguson (a2)...

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