Date of this Version
Chipps, M. R. 2020. A Matched Comparison of Urban Grocery and Convenience Stores between Two Time Points using the Nebraska Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey for Stores. Undergraduate Honors Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Urban populations may experience many obstacles when accessing healthy food options, such as socioeconomic status, limited resources, and lack of health education. The accessibility of healthy food can be defined by three primary factors; availability, quality, and price of food options. The purpose of this study was to compare the accessibility of healthy foods among 186 food retailers in an urban location in Nebraska between the years of 2016 and 2019 using the Nebraska Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey-Store (NebNEMS-S) tool. Two methods were used to analyze data. The first method examined the “total score” of stores by calculating the availability, quality, and price scores for each of six categories (fruit, vegetables, meats/meat alternatives, grains, milk, and snacks). The second method scored stores based on whether there was “healthy” access to foods across five categories (fruits, vegetables, meat/meat alternatives, grains, and milk). The total sample had no significant changes between time points. There was a significant decrease in many availability scores for convenience stores (C-stores) between 2016 and 2019, including grains, meats/meat alternatives, and overall availability score. However, there was a significant increase in the availability of fruits in C-stores in 2019 compared to 2016. For grocery stores, there was a significant decrease in healthy snack availability, based on the availability and variety of baked chips and hard pretzels, and overall availability, price, and quality score. Non-SNAP C-stores were more likely to have a decrease in availability of healthy foods than their SNAP counterparts. Overall, grocery stores experienced fewer significant decreases in availability, price and quality than C-stores. Having more C-stores become eligible for and accept SNAP may increase their ability to provide healthier food options to customers.