A Nutrition Environment Evaluation of Grocery and Convenience Stores in Low-income Communities Using the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey for Stores (NEMS-S)

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Objective: As part of a 5-year multi-state adolescent obesity prevention project, the nutrition environments of grocery and convenience stores were assessed in selected low income communities in Kansas, South Dakota, and Ohio (KS, SD, and OH). One control and one intervention community was selected per state. METHODS: Grocery and convenience stores (n=23) were identified for audit using the validated Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey for Stores (NEMS-S). NEMS-S evaluates availability of healthful food, price of healthy versus unhealthy food, and quality of fresh produce. Standard NEMS-S scoring methods were used; higher overall scores indicate greater quality and availability of healthy items as well as lower or equal prices of healthy compared to unhealthy items (range -9-54). Stores that did not meet NEMS-S parameters were excluded. RESULTS: Using non-parametric testing, no significant differences were found between average NEMS-S scores of control and intervention communities within or among states (p > 0.05). Scores ranged from 2-41, combined average score for all states was 14.57 ± 12.52 (mean ± SD). CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that the selected low-income communities in KS, SD, and OH have limited availability to affordable, quality, healthful food in community stores.

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The FASEB Journal




1, Supplement

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Abstract Number: LB382

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