Improving access to healthy food has been identified by the Institute of Medicine, CDC and other national and scientific authorities as a strategy for local governments to help prevent obesity. In the fall of 2014, the city of Minneapolis revised an ordinance requiring all stores with grocery licenses to carry a wide array of healthy foods and beverages in order to better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and stocking requirements for WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program vendors. Minneapolis was the first and to date is one of the only cities in the U.S. to have a policy of this kind in place. This type of policy action may have an important impact on food access, particularly in under-served neighborhoods and small food stores that do not currently stock these types of items. This policy is expected to have the greatest impact on small-scale food retailers, such as corner stores and convenience stores, as well as non-traditional food retailers, such as gas-marts, dollar stores, and pharmacies. The purpose of the STaple foods ORdinance Evaluation (STORE) study was to, therefore, evaluate the impact of this local policy change (i.e., the Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance). In this study, the impact of the Minneapolis Staple Foods Ordinance was evaluated by assessing objectively measured changes in: a) food environments among small and non-traditional urban food stores, including availability, promotion, advertising, quality, price, and placement of both healthy and unhealthy foods and beverages; b) nutritional quality of consumer purchases at small and non-traditional food stores, including assessment of energy density and calories via customer intercept interviews and direct observation of purchases; and c) home food environments, including availability of healthy and unhealthy foods/beverages and an overall home food obesogenicity score among households that frequently shop at small- to mid-sized food stores. These changes were assessed pre-policy implementation as well as 4-, 12- and 24-months post-policy implementation in Minneapolis and St. Paul (the control community) from 2014 to 2017. Data collected in 2014, during the pre-policy implementation phase, were in the form of objective store assessments, customer intercept interviews, retailer (store owner/manager) interviews, and home visits with customers who frequently shopped in small or non-traditional food stores. Data collected at home visits were interviews, surveys, and dietary assessments, including the Home Food Inventory (Fulkerson et al, IJBNPA, 2008 Nov 4:5: 55).
This research would not be possible without the collaborative efforts in place with the Minneapolis Health Department, in particular, with Ms. Kristen Klingler and Ms. Nora Gordon. To learn more about the involvement with the Minneapolis Health Department in regard to this policy, please visit:
This policy impact evaluation is funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grants 1R01DK104348-01A1, U54-HD070725 and 5R25CA057711) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (3U48DP005022-01S1) through the NOPREN (Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network). Early support from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) Faculty Interactive Research Program at the University of Minnesota allowed us to set the stage for this large-scale funding (much of which was not available until after the revised ordinance was passed) and build infrastructure so that we were poised to conduct this large-scale policy evaluation at the appropriate point in time.
Laska, Melissa; Caspi, Caitlin; Harnack, Lisa; Erickson, Darin; Pelletier, Jennifer.
STORE Study Data Collection Tools.
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