MICRONUTRIENT ROLES IN PHYSIOLOGY AND HEALTH
Location: Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
Title: It’s the season! Seasonal changes of MyPyramid food groups in weekly Sunday grocery store sale advertisements
Submitted to: Annual Scientific Meeting NAASO, The Obesity Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2010
Publication Date: October 10, 2010
Citation: Jahns, L.A., Whigham Grendell, L.D., Hoverson, B., Scheett, A., Johnson, L.K., Payne, C.R., Kranz, S. 2010. It’s the season! Seasonal changes of MyPyramid food groups in weekly Sunday grocery store sale advertisements [abstract]. Obesity. 18(Suppl 2):S179-180.
Background: Faced with tens of thousands of food choices, consumers frequently turn to promotional advertising, such as Sunday sales circulars, to make purchasing decisions. To date, little research has examined the content of sales circulars over multiple seasons.
Methods: Food items from 12 months of Sunday sales circulars from a Midwestern grocery store chain were coded based on the four seasons and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans—as implemented by MyPyramid foodgroups; changes in relative proportions of foodgroups advertised were compared across seasons and interactions with season examined using proc GENMOD in SAS v. 9.2.
Results: Consistent differences in the relative proportions of foodgroups and subgroups were found. Meat and beans comprised the single largest group (25% of total items) compared to milk (10%), and vegetables (8%). Fewer dark-green and orange vegetables (vs. all other vegetables) were advertised (P < 0.001), with a significant interaction between seasons (P = 0.045). Fruits comprised 7% of foods, with twice as much whole fruit offered (67%) vs. fruit juice (33%; P < 0.001). There was a significant interaction by season, with the highest proportion of whole fruit offered in summer (83%), compared to fall (58%; P = 0.003). Added sugar fluctuated strongly by month and peaked in October and December.
Conclusions: This study reveals variations in promotional advertising by season for some but not all foodgroups. Foods were not advertised in the proportions recommended by MyPyramid. As advertising influences many consumer choices, grocery store ads are a potential target for obesity prevention.