Positive attitude toward healthy eating predicts higher diet quality at all cost levels of supermarkets.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2011 ; 114: 266-72.
PubMed ID : 23916974
Shopping at low-cost supermarkets has been associated with higher obesity rates. This study examined whether attitudes toward healthy eating are independently associated with diet quality among shoppers at low-cost, medium-cost, and high-cost supermarkets. Data on socioeconomic status (SES), attitudes toward healthy eating, and supermarket choice were collected using a telephone survey of a representative sample of adult residents of King County, WA. Dietary intake data were based on a food frequency questionnaire. Thirteen supermarket chains were stratified into three categories: low, medium, and high cost, based on a market basket of 100 commonly eaten foods. Diet-quality measures were energy density, mean adequacy ratio, and total servings of fruits and vegetables. The analytical sample consisted of 963 adults. Multivariable regressions with robust standard error examined relations between diet quality, supermarket type, attitudes, and SES. Shopping at higher-cost supermarkets was associated with higher-quality diets. These associations persisted after adjusting for SES, but were eliminated after taking attitudinal measures into account. Supermarket shoppers with positive attitudes toward healthy eating had equally higher-quality diets, even if they shopped at low-, medium-, or high-cost supermarkets, independent of SES and other covariates. These findings imply that shopping at low-cost supermarkets does not prevent consumers from having high-quality diets, as long as they attach importance to good nutrition. Promoting nutrition-education strategies among supermarkets, particularly those catering to low-income groups, can help to improve diet quality.