Nutrition Counseling for Hypertension Within a Grocery Store: An Example of the Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood Model



      To evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition counseling for patients with hypertension, provided in a grocery store setting.


      Single-arm pretest–posttest design implementing a 12-week dietary intervention.


      Grocery store.


      Thirty adults with hypertension recruited from a primary care practice.


      Registered dietitian nutritionists provided counseling based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Dietary intake patterns and Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) scores measured via food-frequency questionnaire. Change in systolic blood pressure (SBP) was a secondary outcome.


      Paired t tests were used to test for differences between HEI-2010 scores, intake of key food pattern components, and SBP at baseline compared with follow-up. Statistical significance was established at P ≤ .05.


      Eight HEI-2010 component scores increased significantly from baseline to follow-up (a change toward a more desirable eating pattern): total fruit, whole fruit, greens and beans, whole grains, fatty acids, refined grains, and empty calories. Sodium (P < .001), saturated fat (P < .001), discretionary solid fat (P < .001), added sugars (P = .01), and total fat (P < .001) all decreased significantly. The change in SBP was not significant.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Grocery store–based counseling for patients with hypertension may be an effective strategy to provide lifestyle counseling that is not typically available within primary care.

      Key Words

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      Linked Article

      • National Heart Health Month
        Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorVol. 51Issue 2
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          I realize that all of JNEB's readership knows that February is National Heart Healthmonth. Most of us have taught programs on lower saturated fat, lower sodium, or higher fruit and vegetable eating patterns. In 2015, JNEB published a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of the Mediterranean Diet on hypertension, reporting that a positive, significant effect was found between the Mediterranean Diet and blood pressure although the effect was small.1 At that time only 6 trials were available.
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