To enhance access to healthier foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed new stocking standards for stores eligible to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. It is unknown how many stores are currently in compliance with the proposed enhanced retailer standards; what support rural stores need to successfully stock and engage families in purchasing and consuming the newly stocked healthier items; and how the standards will impact child dietary intake. This quasi-experimental, multi-level community-based research trial will focus on small retail food outlets in low-income, Appalachian counties in Tennessee and consist of three intervention arms: 1) using storeowner-focused strategies (S-only) to increase access to healthier food; 2) using storeowner and family-focused strategies (S+F) to increase access to and demand for healthier items; and 3) a delayed-intervention comparison. The aims of the study are to: 1) assess compliance of SNAP-eligible stores with the proposed SNAP enhance retailer standards in low-income, Appalachian counties in Tennessee; 2) determine the impact of S-only and S+F intervention strategies compares to delayed-intervention on: a) achieving and sustaining stocking levels that meet the SNAP enhanced retailer standards; b) sales of healthier items; c) parental perceptions of community and home food availability; and d) child dietary intake; and 3) determine the most cost-effective intervention (S-only or S+F) to help storeowners stock and sell healthier items.
Testing Strategies to Reduce Obesity by Increasing Access to and Demand for Affordable, Healthier Food in Retail Groceries in Rural Appalachia
Appalachian Store Owners’ and Managers’ Perspectives on the Role of Their Store in the Community and in Providing Healthier Food to the Community
Appalachian communities have lower access to healthier food sources like grocery stores. Through semi-structured interviews with owner/managers of convenience stores in Appalachian communities, this qualitative study explored perceived roles and business practices of small food retailers using a grounded theory approach. Five themes emerged including strong relationships between stores and … More
A Qualitative Study of Parents With Children 6 to 12 Years Old: Use of Restaurant Calorie Labels to Inform the Development of a Messaging Campaign
U.S. law mandates that chain restaurants with 20 or more locations post calorie information on their menus to inform consumers and encourage healthy choices. This study aimed to better understand parents’ perceptions and use of calorie labeling and the types of messages that might increase use. Researchers conducted 10 focus … More
A growing number of consumers are ordering groceries online and picking them up in-store (OOPIS) to limit their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Although OOPIS has been widely adopted, WIC participants in most states are unable to use OOPIS to redeem their WIC benefits due to significant legal barriers. To … More