Submitted to: Public Health Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2005
Publication Date: 5/1/2006
Citation: Yoo, S., Baranowski, T., Missaghian, M., Baranowski, J., Cullen, K., Fisher, J.O., Watson, K., Zakeri, I.F., Nicklas, T. 2006. Food-purchasing patterns for home: A grocery store-intercept survey. Public Health Nutrition. 9(3):384-393. Interpretive Summary: There was substantial diversity in the frequency of food shopping among a large sample (n=823) of food shoppers in Houston, Texas. Frequency ranged from once per month to several times a week as needed. African American families tended to shop less frequently, while Asian American families tended to shop more frequently. Families that shop less frequently appear less likely to have fresh fruit and vegetables at home.
Technical Abstract: Objectives: To identify the most common frequency of food-purchasing patterns and relate this pattern to characteristics of individuals and families. Design: A customer-intercept survey was conducted in the greater Houston area, Texas, USA, in 2002. The frequency of food shopping at supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants to buy food for eating at home was assessed. Subjects: A total of 823 adults (78.5% female; mean age 37.4 years) who went to any of several grocery or convenience stores, including European, Hispanic and African Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Results: Major food-shopping patterns were a weekly big trip with a few small trips (34.9%), biweekly big trips with a few small trips (21.9%), no big shopping trips (15.4%), a weekly big trip without small trips (13.9%), a monthly big trip (8.3%), and biweekly big trips without small trips (6.4%). While 61.1% of participants never went to convenience stores to buy fruit and vegetables (F&V) for eating at home, 67% went to restaurants for F&V. African American families shopped for food least frequently, while Asian American families shopped for food most frequently. Educational level was negatively associated with the use of convenience stores and positively associated with takeaway from restaurants. Conclusions: There is substantial variability in the frequency of food shopping. Future research on food shopping should incorporate this variable.