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May 2011

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association



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Food Science | Nutrition


The goal of point-of-purchase (POP) nutrition information is to help consumers make informed, healthful choices. Despite limited evaluation, these population-based approaches are being advocated to replace traditional, more expensive, individual behavior-change strategies. Few studies have examined the effect of POP information on buying patterns of college students, a group with high obesity rates and poor eating habits. This quasi-experimental pilot project sought to determine whether the “Eat Smart” POP program affected food-purchasing habits of multiethnic college students shopping at an on-campus convenience store. Baseline sales data of foods in the cereal, soup, cracker, and bread categories were collected for 6 weeks during Fall 2008. After Winter break, a few food items within each of these food categories were labeled as healthful using a “Fuel Your Life” shelf tag, and sales data were then collected for 5 weeks. In each of the four food categories, nontagged foods were available at the identical price as tagged items. Following intervention, there were increased sales of tagged items (measured as a percentage of total sales) in the cereal, soup, and cracker categories, while sales of bread decreased. Although none of these changes were statistically significant, the intervention resulted in a 3.6%±1.6% (P=0.082) increase in the percentage of sales from tagged items. Thus, providing POP nutrition information in a college campus convenience store may promote healthful food choices. A longer study examining the effect of POP on sales of items in other food categories is warranted.


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2011 in Volume 111, Issue 5. Find the published version of this article at this link.
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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.