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Associations between frequency of food shopping at different store types and diet and weight outcomes: findings from the NEWPATH study

  • Leia M Minaker (a1), Dana L Olstad (a2), Mary E Thompson (a3), Kim D Raine (a4), Pat Fisher (a5) and Lawrence D Frank (a6)...

The present study aimed to: (i) examine associations between food store patronage and diet and weight-related outcomes; and (ii) explore consumer motivations for visiting different types of food store.


A stratified probability sample of residents completed household and individual-level surveys in 2009/2010 on food purchasing patterns and motivations, dietary intake, waist circumference (WC), weight and height. Diet quality was calculated using the Healthy Eating Index for Canada from a subset of participants (n 1362). Generalized estimating equations were created in 2015 to examine how frequency of patronizing different types of food store was associated with diet quality, intake of fruits and vegetable, mean intake of energy (kcal) sodium and saturated fat, WC and BMI.


Three mid-sized urban municipalities in Ontario, Canada.


A representative sample of residents (n 4574).


Participants who shopped frequently at food co-ops had significantly better diet quality (β=5·3; 99 % CI 0·3, 10·2) than those who did not. BMI and WC were significantly lower among those who frequently shopped at specialty shops (BMI, β=−2·1; 99 % CI −3·0, −1·1; WC, β=−4·8; 99 % CI −7·0, −2·5) and farmers’ markets (BMI, β=−1·4; 99 % CI −2·3, −0·5; WC, β=−3·8; 99 % CI 6·0, −1·6) compared with those who did not. Relative importance of reasons for food outlet selection differed by large (price, food quality) v. small (proximity, convenient hours) shopping trip and by outlet type.


Findings contribute to our understanding of food store selection and have implications for potentially relevant retail food intervention settings.

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