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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101189

Baseline Assessment of a Healthy Corner Store Initiative: Associations between Food Store Environments, Shopping Patterns, Customer Purchases, and Dietary Intake in Eastern North Carolina

1
Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
2
Department of Biostatistics, College of Allied Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
3
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
4
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
5
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27413, USA
6
Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 7 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Environment, Diet, and Health)
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Abstract

In 2016, the North Carolina (NC) Legislature allocated $250,000 to the NC Department of Agriculture, to identify and equip small food retailers to stock healthier foods and beverages in eastern NC food deserts (the NC Healthy Food Small Retailer Program, HFSRP). The purpose of this study was to examine associations between food store environments, shopping patterns, customer purchases, and dietary consumption among corner store customers. We surveyed 479 customers in 16 corner stores regarding demographics, food purchased, shopping patterns, and self-reported fruit, vegetable, and soda consumption. We objectively assessed fruit and vegetable consumption using a non-invasive reflection spectroscopy device to measure skin carotenoids. We examined associations between variables of interest, using Pearson’s correlation coefficients and adjusted linear regression analyses. A majority (66%) of participants were African American, with a mean age of 43 years, and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 kg/m2. There were no significant associations between the healthfulness of food store offerings, customer purchases, or dietary consumption. Participants who said they had purchased fruits and vegetables at the store previously reported higher produce intake (5.70 (4.29) vs. 4.60 (3.28) servings per day, p = 0.021) versus those who had not previously purchased fresh produce. The NC Legislature has allocated another $250,000 to the HFSRP for the 2018 fiscal year. Thus, evaluation results will be important to inform future healthy corner store policies and initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: food environment; diet; food availability; food store; convenience store food environment; diet; food availability; food store; convenience store
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jilcott Pitts, S.B.; Wu, Q.; Truesdale, K.P.; Laska, M.N.; Grinchak, T.; McGuirt, J.T.; Haynes-Maslow, L.; Bell, R.A.; Ammerman, A.S. Baseline Assessment of a Healthy Corner Store Initiative: Associations between Food Store Environments, Shopping Patterns, Customer Purchases, and Dietary Intake in Eastern North Carolina. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1189.

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