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The development of a healthy eating indicator shopping basket tool (HEISB) for use in food access studies—identification of key food items

  • AS Anderson (a1), J Dewar (a1), D Marshall (a2), S Cummins (a3), M Taylor (a2), J Dawson (a2) (a4) (a5) and L Sparks (a4)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980007000092
  • Published online: 01 December 2007
Abstract
AbstractObjectives

To develop an objective, nutrient-based, healthy eating indicator shopping basket (HEISB) tool for use in studies of access to healthy food.

Design

Tool development used a literature search to identify previous practice, web information on current definition of healthy foods by the UK Food Standards Agency, and population-based dietary surveys to identify culturally acceptable foods. These findings were then appraised with respect to practical fieldwork considerations.

Setting

The review took account of surveys undertaken in a range of geographical areas.

Results

Previous tools have varied in the foods selected and the rationale for inclusion. Most have considered nutritional composition but no systematic definition has been used and foods have been subjectively classified as ‘less healthy’ or ‘more healthy’. Recent UK work on nutrient profiling enabled individual food items to be objectively assessed for inclusion. Data from national food surveys enabled commonly consumed and culturally acceptable foods to be identified. Practical considerations included item use in meals, convenience, price, and fieldwork constraints. Other issues including health and price discriminators as well as regional preferences were considered. The final HEISB tool comprised 35 items within the following categories – 17 from fruit and vegetables, nine from potatoes, bread and cereal, five from fish/meats, three from dairy, and one from fatty and sugary foods.

Conclusions

The tool provides a rational basis for examining access and availability of healthy foods in cross-sectional and longitudinal retail and consumer studies.

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*Corresponding author: Email a.s.anderson@dundee.ac.uk
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

11S Cummins , S Macinytre . Food deserts – evidence and assumptions in health policy making. British Medical Journal 2002; 325: 436438.

12N Wrigley . Food deserts in British cities: policy context and research priorities. Urban Studies 2002; 39: 20292040.

13A Whelan , N Wrigley , C Warm , E Cannings . Life in a ‘food desert’. Urban Studies 2002; 39: 20832100.

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21C Mooney . Cost and availability of healthy foods choices in a London Health District. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1990; 3: 111120.

26S Cummins , S Macintyre . A systematic study of an urban foodscape: the price and availability of food in Greater Glasgow. Urban Studies 2002; 39: 21152130.

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