Consumers’ food choices can be influenced by food availability, marketing/advertisements, and interior/exterior infrastructure of food retail stores. Furthermore, there is a lack of representation of diverse population groups in previous retail store studies, especially studies conducted in low-income, ethnic minority communities.
To assess food availability, quality, price, and interior/exterior marketing of healthy and unhealthy foods in neighborhood stores using systematic observations.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
A cross-sectional observation study. Trained research staff visited 4 food retail stores identified in low-income, predominantly African American neighborhoods in Tampa, Florida.
Two observers conducted an inter-observer reliability test. The store observation was rated on a 100-point scale based on the CX3 (Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention) observation form developed and validated by the California Department of Health. Food availability, quality, price, interior and exterior marketing/advertisements were measured. To meet healthy retail store standards, the total score should be equal to or greater than 75. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.
The mean total score was 71.6, which did not meet the healthy retail store standard score of 75. Two stores reached over 75 points (76.5 and 77.5) and the other 2 stores received a score of 63.0 and 69.5 points. All 4 stores met the standard for providing a wide range and quality of good fruit and vegetables, but 2 stores did not meet the standard for price of fruit and vegetables based on <10% of the county average. Two stores met the standard for availability of other healthy foods and exterior marketing/advertisements. No store met the standard for interior marketing/advertisement.
Although a variety of fruit and vegetables was available, the prices of fresh produce was relatively expensive. Each store had its strengths and weaknesses as a healthy food retail store. Tailored intervention strategies can be recommended for each store including healthy food marketing/advertisements within and outside of the store.
Funding University of South Florida College of Public Health.
Appendix. Supplementary data
© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.