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Efficacy of a store-based environmental change intervention compared with a delayed treatment control condition on store customers’ intake of fruits and vegetables

  • Guadalupe X Ayala (a1), Barbara Baquero (a2), Barbara A Laraia (a3), Ming Ji (a1) and Laura Linnan (a4)...
Abstract
Objective

The present store-based intervention was designed to promote sales of fruits and vegetables (F&V) to increase intake among store customers – specifically customers of tiendas, small-to-medium-sized Latino food stores.

Design

Four tiendas were randomized to a 2-month environmental change intervention or a delayed treatment control condition. Employees and managers were trained to promote F&V sales, including how to implement a food marketing campaign and installing store equipment to promote fresh fruits and vegetables. The primary outcome was self-reported daily intake of F&V among a convenience sample of customers (at least forty per store) collected at baseline prior to randomization and then 4 months later. In addition, changes in availability of F&V in the tiendas, using unobtrusive observational methods, provided evidence of intervention fidelity.

Setting

Tiendas in central North Carolina.

Subjects

Participants included 179 customers who were recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

Results

A group-by-time interaction approached significance on daily servings of F&V; intervention customers reported an increase in F&V intake over time and as a function of the intervention (P ≤ 0·06). Unexpectedly, self-efficacy for consuming more fruits (P ≤ 0·01) and more vegetables (P ≤ 0·06) decreased. In our store-level analyses, a group-by-time interaction was observed for availability of fresh and canned vegetables; the intervention increased availability of vegetables but not fruit.

Conclusions

Environmental change strategies to promote healthy eating are needed given the rates of obesity and diabetes in the Latino population. A store-based intervention was moderately effective at increasing customers’ reported F&V intake. Such strategies can have a public health impact on underserved populations.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email ayala@mail.sdsu.edu
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
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