Perceptions of the food shopping environment are associated with greater consumption of fruits and vegetables.
28 March 2012
This study examined whether certain characteristics such as quality, choice and convenience can affect the consumption of fruit and vegetables, regardless of perceived costs, in a inner-city low income population.
526 parents responded to the baseline survey and were eligible for the study. Of these, 495 provided complete data on sociodemographic characteristics, consumption of fruit and vegetables, perceptions of the shopping environment, the perceived costs of fruit and vegetables, and food shopping behaviour.
The analysis showed that the most positive perceptions of the shopping environment have been associated with a greater consumption of fruit and vegetables. The probability of consuming three servings or more of fruit and vegetables per day has doubled with the increased level of satisfaction of the shopping environment. This association was independent of perceived costs, the store type and sociodemographic characteristics.
Our data shows that among a low-income population, the quality, choice and convenience are important determinants of the consumption of fruit and vegetables. Nutrition promotion campaigns aimed at changing behaviour by improving the access to fruit and vegetables should recognize that increasing the availability of fruit and vegetables can not produce beneficial changes if the shopping environment remains ignored.
Blitstein JL, Snider J, Evans WD.
Public Health Nutr. 2012 Feb 21:1-6.