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To examine cross-sectional associations between farmers’ market shopping behaviours and objectively measured and self-reported fruit and vegetable (FV) intake among rural North Carolina (NC) and New York City (NYC) shoppers.
Cross-sectional intercept surveys were used to assess self-reported FV intake and three measures of farmers’ market shopping behaviour: (1) frequency of purchasing FV; (2) variety of FV purchased and (3) dollars spent on FV. Skin carotenoids, a non-invasive biomarker for FV intake, were objectively measured using pressure-mediated reflection spectroscopy. Associations between farmers’ market shopping behaviours and FV intake were examined using regression models that controlled for demographic variables (e.g. age, sex, race, smoking status, education, income and state).
Farmers’ markets (n 17 markets) in rural NC and NYC.
A convenience sample of 645 farmers’ market shoppers.
Farmers’ market shoppers in NYC purchased a greater variety of FV and had higher skin carotenoid scores compared with shoppers in rural NC. Among all shoppers, there was a positive, statistically significant association between self-reported frequency of shopping at farmers’ markets and self-reported as well as objectively assessed FV intake. The variety of FV purchased and farmers’ market spending on FV also were positively associated with self-reported FV intake, but not skin carotenoids.
Those who shop for FV more frequently at a farmers’ markets, purchase a greater variety of FV and spend more money on FV have higher self-reported, and in some cases higher objectively measured FV intake. Further research is needed to understand these associations and test causality.
To examine associations between geographic information systems (GIS)-assessed accessibility to small food stores, shopping patterns and dietary behaviours among small food store customers.
Residential addresses and customer shopping patterns (frequency of shopping, and previous purchase of fruits and vegetables) were gathered through customer intercept surveys. Addresses were geocoded, and GIS-assessed distance and driving time from the participants’ residence to the store were calculated. Dietary status and behaviours were assessed using an objective non-invasive measure of skin carotenoids, the National Cancer Institute Fruit and Vegetable Screener, and items to assess sugary beverage intake. Associations between distance and driving time, demographics, shopping frequency, prior reported purchase of fruits and vegetables at the store and dietary behaviours were examined.
Small food stores (n 22) across North Carolina.
Cross-sectional convenience samples of English-speaking customers aged 18 years or older (n 692).
Participants living closer to the small store had lower income and formal education, were more likely to be Black, more likely to have previously bought fruits and vegetables at the store and more frequently shopped at the store. In adjusted models, skin carotenoids (n 644) were positively associated with distance to the store from home in miles (P = 0·01).
Customers who lived closer to the stores were more frequent shoppers and more likely to have previously purchased fruits and vegetables at the store yet had lower skin carotenoids. These results support continued efforts to examine how to increase the availability and promotion of healthful foods at small food retail stores.
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