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Sherman S.,The Food Trust | Grode G.,Philadelphia Health Management Corporation | McCoy T.,Temple University | Vander Veur S.S.,Temple University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2015

Objective: We examined the perspectives of low-income, urban youth about the corner store experience to inform the development of corner store interventions. Design: Focus groups were conducted to understand youth perceptions regarding their early shopping experiences, the process of store selection, reasons for shopping in a corner store, parental guidance about corner stores, and what their ideal, or "dream corner store" would look like. Thematic analysis was employed to identify themes using ATLAS.ti (version 6.1, 2010, ATLAS.ti GmbH) and Excel (version 2010, Microsoft Corp). Setting: Focus groups were conducted in nine kindergarten-through-grade 8 (K-8) public schools in low-income neighborhoods with 40 fourth- to sixth-graders with a mean age of 10.9±0.8 years. Results: Youth report going to corner stores with family members at an early age. By second and third grades, a growing number of youth reported shopping unaccompanied by an older sibling or adult. Youth reported that the products sold in stores were the key reason they choose a specific store. A small number of youth said their parents offered guidance on their corner store purchases. When youth were asked what their dream corner store would look like, they mentioned wanting a combination of healthy and less-healthy foods. Conclusion: These data suggest that, among low-income, urban youth, corner store shopping starts at a very young age and that product, price, and location are key factors that affect corner store selection. The data also suggest that few parents offer guidance about corner store purchases, and youth are receptive to having healthier items in corner stores. Corner store intervention efforts should target young children and their parents/caregivers and aim to increase the availability of affordable, healthier products. © 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Source


Thornton L.E.,Deakin University | Cameron A.J.,Deakin University | McNaughton S.A.,Deakin University | Waterlander W.E.,VU University Amsterdam | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2013

Background: Cross-country differences in dietary behaviours and obesity rates have been previously reported. Consumption of energy-dense snack foods and soft drinks are implicated as contributing to weight gain, however little is known about how the availability of these items within supermarkets varies internationally. This study assessed variations in the display of snack foods and soft drinks within a sample of supermarkets across eight countries.Methods: Within-store audits were used to evaluate and compare the availability of potato chips (crisps), chocolate, confectionery and soft drinks. Displays measured included shelf length and the proportion of checkouts and end-of-aisle displays containing these products. Audits were conducted in a convenience sample of 170 supermarkets across eight developed nations (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom (UK), and United States of America (US)).Results: The mean total aisle length of snack foods (adjusted for store size) was greatest in supermarkets from the UK (56.4 m) and lowest in New Zealand (21.7 m). When assessed by individual item, the greatest aisle length devoted to chips, chocolate and confectionery was found in UK supermarkets while the greatest aisle length dedicated to soft drinks was in Australian supermarkets. Only stores from the Netherlands (41%) had less than 70% of checkouts featuring displays of snack foods or soft drinks.Conclusion: Whilst between-country variations were observed, overall results indicate high levels of snack food and soft drinks displays within supermarkets across the eight countries. Exposure to snack foods is largely unavoidable within supermarkets, increasing the likelihood of purchases and particularly those made impulsively. © 2013 Thornton et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Allison K.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Studt S.K.,The Food Trust | Berkowitz R.I.,University of Pennsylvania | Berkowitz R.I.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | And 6 more authors.
Eating Behaviors | Year: 2013

Objective: Night eating syndrome (NES) has become increasingly recognized as a disorder in need of effective treatments. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have shown efficacy in previous trials, so we sought to expand our understanding of the efficacy of escitalopram in the current trial. Method: Thirty-one adults with NES participated in a 12-week open-label trial of escitalopram. Outcome measures included the Night Eating Symptom Scale (NESS), percent of daily intake after the evening meal (% intake) and number of nocturnal ingestions/week (NI), weight, total awakenings/week, mood, and quality of life. Mixed-effects models were used to assess change over time. Results: Significant reductions were observed from week 0 to week 12 for the NESS (30.2 to 15.2), % intake (46% to 17%), NI (5.8 to 1.2), weight (90.2 to 88.6. kg), awakenings (8.1 to 2.7), and BDI-II (12.1 to 7.7). Outcomes did not differ significantly by gender, age, race, or psychiatric co-morbidity status. Eighteen of 31 completed 12. weeks of treatment. Discussion: This open-label trial of escitalopram showed significant reductions in symptoms associated with NES. Randomized controlled trials are warranted to test these findings.Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01401595. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Cannuscio C.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Hillier A.,University of Pennsylvania | Karpyn A.,The Food Trust | Glanz K.,University of Pennsylvania
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

To respond to the high prevalence of obesity and its associated health consequences, recent food research and policy have focused on neighborhood food environments, especially the links between health and retail mix, proximity of food outlets, and types of foods available. In addition, the social environment exerts important influences on food-related behaviors, through mechanisms like role-modeling, social support, and social norms. This study examined the social dynamics of residents' health-related food-shopping behaviors in 2010-11 in urban Philadelphia, where we conducted 25 semi-structured resident interviews-the foundation for this paper-in addition to 514 structured interviews and a food environment audit. In interviews, participants demonstrated adaptability and resourcefulness in their food shopping; they chose to shop at stores that met a range of social needs. Those needs ranged from practical financial considerations, to fundamental issues of safety, to mundane concerns about convenience, and juggling multiple work and family responsibilities. The majority of participants were highly motivated to adapt their shopping patterns to accommodate personal financial constraints. In addition, they selectively shopped at stores frequented by people who shared their race/ethnicity, income and education, and they sought stores where they had positive interactions with personnel and proprietors. In deciding where to shop in this urban context, participants adapted their routines to avoid unsafe places and the threat of violence. Participants also discussed the importance of convenient stores that allowed for easy parking, accommodation of physical disabilities or special needs, and integration of food shopping into other daily activities like meeting children at school. Food research and policies should explicitly attend to the social dynamics that influence food-shopping behavior. In our social relationships, interactions, and responsibilities, there are countless opportunities to influence-and also to improve-health. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Hillier A.,University of Pennsylvania | Tappe K.,Rowan University | Cannuscio C.,University of Pennsylvania | Karpyn A.,The Food Trust | Glanz K.,University of Pennsylvania
Women and Health | Year: 2014

Previous research has shown differences in adult physical activity (PA) levels within urban population, in what types of activities they participated, and where they were active. A sample of 514 urban Philadelphia adult residents was surveyed about level and location of PA. A majority (55.6%) of survey participants reported being vigorously or moderately active or walking enough to meet PA guidelines. A significantly higher proportion of men (vs. women), younger (vs. older) adults and people who were employed (vs. unemployed) met the PA guidelines. Most participants (87.5%) reported walking at least once within the previous week, while 79.3% reported engaging in moderate or vigorous activity. Of the participants who reported being moderately or vigorously active, 64.0% were physically active in indoors only, 22.6% were active in outdoors only, and 13.4% were active in both indoors and outdoors. Significantly fewer black women were active outdoors, compared to all other race/sex combinations (odds ratio = 0.43, p-value < 0.01). In this diverse sample of urban residents, outdoor PA was significantly less frequently reported than indoor PA, particularly for Black women. These findings could help inform urban PA interventions. Copyright © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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