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To develop and test a tool to assess the price and availability of low-carbon footprint and nutritionally balanced dietary patterns in retail food environments in Ontario, Canada.
Availability and price of selected food from discount and regular grocery stores (n 23) in urban/rural areas of northern/southern Ontario were assessed with the Sustainable Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in 2017.
Inter-rater reliability was high for price (intra-class correlation coefficients = 0·819) and for availability (Cohen’s κ = 0·993). The tool showed 78 % of the selected food items were available in all stores. Overall, price differences were small between urban and rural locations, and northern and southern Ontario. The greatest price difference was between discount and regular stores.
The tool showed excellent inter-rater agreement. Researchers and public health dietitians can use this tool for research, practice and policy to link consumer-level health outcomes to the retail environment.
To examine the potential links between activity spaces, the food retail environment and food shopping behaviours for the population of young, urban adults.
Participants took part in the Canada Food Study, which collected information on demographics, food behaviour, diet and health, as well as an additional smartphone study that included a seven-day period of logging GPS (global positioning system) location and food purchases. Using a time-weighted, continuous representation of participant activity spaces generated from GPS trajectory data, the locations of food purchases and a geocoded food retail data set, negative binomial regression models were used to explore what types of food retailers participants were exposed to and where food purchases were made.
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax, Canada.
Young adults aged 16–30 years (n 496). These participants were a subset of the larger Canada Food Study.
Demographics, household food shopper status and city of residence were significantly associated with different levels of exposure to various types of food retailers. Food shopping behaviours were also statistically significantly associated with demographics, the activity space-based food environment, self-reported health and city of residence.
The study confirms that food behaviours are related to activity space-based food environment measures, which provide a more comprehensive accounting of food retail exposure than home-based measures. In addition, exposure to food retail and food purchasing behaviours of an understudied population are described.
The present study aimed to: (i) examine associations between food store patronage and diet and weight-related outcomes; and (ii) explore consumer motivations for visiting different types of food store.
A stratified probability sample of residents completed household and individual-level surveys in 2009/2010 on food purchasing patterns and motivations, dietary intake, waist circumference (WC), weight and height. Diet quality was calculated using the Healthy Eating Index for Canada from a subset of participants (n 1362). Generalized estimating equations were created in 2015 to examine how frequency of patronizing different types of food store was associated with diet quality, intake of fruits and vegetable, mean intake of energy (kcal) sodium and saturated fat, WC and BMI.
Three mid-sized urban municipalities in Ontario, Canada.
A representative sample of residents (n 4574).
Participants who shopped frequently at food co-ops had significantly better diet quality (β=5·3; 99 % CI 0·3, 10·2) than those who did not. BMI and WC were significantly lower among those who frequently shopped at specialty shops (BMI, β=−2·1; 99 % CI −3·0, −1·1; WC, β=−4·8; 99 % CI −7·0, −2·5) and farmers’ markets (BMI, β=−1·4; 99 % CI −2·3, −0·5; WC, β=−3·8; 99 % CI −6·0, −1·6) compared with those who did not. Relative importance of reasons for food outlet selection differed by large (price, food quality) v. small (proximity, convenient hours) shopping trip and by outlet type.
Findings contribute to our understanding of food store selection and have implications for potentially relevant retail food intervention settings.
The increasing prevalence of obesity among youth has elicited calls for schools to become more active in promoting healthy weight. The present study examined associations between various aspects of school food environments (specifically the availability of snack- and beverage-vending machines and the presence of snack and beverage logos) and students’ weight status, as well as potential influences of indices of diet and food behaviours.
A cross-sectional, self-administered web-based survey. A series of multinomial logistic regressions with generalized estimating equations (GEE) were constructed to examine associations between school environment variables (i.e. the reported presence of beverage- and snack-vending machines and logos) and self-reported weight- and diet-related behaviours.
Secondary schools in Alberta, Canada.
A total of 4936 students from grades 7 to 10.
The presence of beverage-vending machines in schools was associated with the weight status of students. The presence of snack-vending machines and logos was associated with students’ frequency of consuming vended goods. The presence of snack-vending machines and logos was associated with the frequency of salty snack consumption.
The reported presence of snack- and beverage-vending machines and logos in schools is related to some indices of weight status, diet and meal behaviours but not to others. The present study supported the general hypothesis that the presence of vending machines in schools may affect students’ weight through increased consumption of vended goods, but notes that the frequency of ‘junk’ food consumption does not seem to be related to the presence of vending machines, perhaps reflecting the ubiquity of these foods in the daily lives of students.
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