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The current study examines the impact of a nutrition rating system on consumers’ food purchases in supermarkets.
Aggregate sales data for 102 categories of food (over 60 000 brands) on a weekly basis for 2005–2007 from a supermarket chain of over 150 stores are analysed. Change in weekly sales of nutritious and less nutritious foods, after the introduction of a nutrition rating system on store shelves, is calculated, controlling for seasonality and time trends in sales.
One hundred and sixty-eight supermarket stores in the north-east USA, from January 2005 to December 2007.
Consumers purchasing goods at the supermarket chain during the study period.
After the introduction of the nutrition ratings, overall weekly food sales declined by an average of 3637 units per category (95 % CI –5961, –1313; P<0·01). Sales of less nutritious foods fell by 8·31 % (95 % CI –13·50, –2·80 %; P=0·004), while sales of nutritious foods did not change significantly (P=0·21); as a result, the percentage of food purchases rated as nutritious rose by 1·39 % (95 % CI 0·58, 2·20 %; P<0·01). The decrease in sales of less nutritious foods was greatest in the categories of canned meat and fish, soda pop, bakery and canned vegetables.
The introduction of the nutrition ratings led shoppers to buy a more nutritious mix of products. Interestingly, it did so by reducing purchases of less nutritious foods rather than by increasing purchases of nutritious foods. In evaluating nutrition information systems, researchers should focus on the entire market basket, not just sales of nutritious foods.
Family meals are an important ritual in contemporary societies and many studies have reported associations of family meals with several biopsychosocial outcomes among children and adolescents. However, few representative analyses of family meals have been conducted in samples of adults, and adults may differ from young people in predictors and outcomes of family meal consumption. We examined the prevalence and predictors of adult family meals and body weight outcomes.
The cross-sectional 2009 Cornell National Social Survey (CNSS) included questions about the frequency of family meals, body weight as BMI and sociodemographic characteristics.
The CNSS telephone survey used random digit dialling to sample individuals.
We analysed data from 882 adults living with family members in a nationally representative US sample.
Prevalence of family meals among these adults revealed that 53 % reported eating family meals seven or more times per week. Predictive results revealed that adults who more frequently ate family meals were more likely to be married and less likely to be employed full-time, year-round. Outcome results revealed that the overall frequency of family meals among adults was not significantly associated with any measure of body weight. However, interaction term analysis suggested an inverse association between frequency of family meals and BMI for adults with children in the household, and no association among adults without children.
These findings suggest that family meals among adults are commonplace, associated with marital and work roles, and marginally associated with body weight only in households with children.
Most research on diet and exercise has focused on these health behaviours as proximate causes of disease, rather than examine the context of how diet and exercise are developed and maintained. This study examined religion and social support in relationship to fat intake and physical activity.
Design, setting and subjects:
Data from surveys of 546 adults aged 17–91 years, residing in one upstate New York county, were analysed.
Most relationships between the multiple facets of religion, fat intake and physical activity were not statistically significant. After controlling for demographics and social support, Conservative Protestant women and women specifying an ‘Other’ religious affiliation reported higher fat intakes than did Catholic women. There were no relationships between religion and fat intake in men. In women, religious commitment was associated with greater moderate and vigorous physical activity, whereas in men, divine social support was associated with greater moderate physical activity. Social support did not substantially change the magnitude of the relationships between religion, diet and physical activity.
Overall, there were few relationships between religion, fat intake and physical activity, suggesting that in contemporary US society religion may play a small role in the context of how diet and exercise are developed and maintained. The limited range of religiosity in the sample, however, may have underestimated the role of religion. Significant relationships between religion and physical activity in women suggest that further research is needed to more clearly delineate religion's relationship with health behaviours.
Socio-economic development influences many factors that affect health, especially diet and nutrition. This investigation proposes that a system of transitions occur as societies develop, with socio-economic, physical activity, dietary, nutrition and body weight transitions operating in relationship with each other. This model of transitions was examined empirically using South Korea as an example of a nation that has undergone considerable changes.
Data were drawn from published government reports: the Korean National Nutrition Survey and annual reports at the national level for the years between 1969 and 1993. The socio-economic transition was assessed by gross national product. The physical activity transition was assessed using annual proportions of the population involved in primary, secondary and tertiary industries, as well as the number of cars and driver's licences. The dietary transition was measured by plant and animal food consumption. The nutrition transition was assessed by percentages of energy from carbohydrate, protein and fat. The body weight transition was measured by body mass index calculated from the average height and weight of adolescents.
Results revealed that the transitions were highly correlated as expected, with the socio-economic transition exhibiting major changes. South Koreans tended to decrease their physical activity and plant food consumption, and to increase animal food consumption, percentage of energy from dietary fat and body weight, in relationship to the socio-economic transition.
Examining a system of transitions on a national level in one country that has undergone rapid economic development may provide a strategy for examining how such transitions operate in other nations.
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