Impact on Dietary Choices After Discount Supermarket Opens in Low-Income Community


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo examine (1) the association of a new supermarket opening with dietary intake and perceptions of healthy food availability, and (2) associations of distance to the primary food store and mean prices of fruits, vegetables, and sugary beverages with levels of consumption of these foods and body mass index in a low-income, southeastern community.MethodsThe researchers used cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire data and supermarket audit data collected in the supermarket community and comparison community before (2015) and after (2016) the supermarket opening. A difference-in-difference analysis employed propensity scores to compare pretest and posttest differences between communities.ResultsThere were no significant differences between communities on dietary behaviors. There was a significant cross-sectional, inverse association between distance to the primary food store and fruit and vegetable consumption among all respondents in 2016.Conclusions and ImplicationsThe results suggest that adding a new discount supermarket is not necessarily associated with improvements in residents' fruit, vegetable, or sugary beverage consumption, or in their perceptions of the availability of healthy food in the neighborhood. However, distance to the store may be important.

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