An urban food store intervention positively affects food-related psychosocial variables and food behaviors

Joel Gittelsohn, Hee Jung Song, Sonali Suratkar, Mohan B. Kumar, Elizabeth G. Henry, Sangita Sharma, Megan Mattingly, Jean A. Anliker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases are more prevalent in low-income urban areas, which commonly have limited access to healthy foods. The authors implemented an intervention trial in nine food stores, including two supermarkets and seven corner stores, in a low-income, predominantly African American area of Baltimore City, with a comparison group of eight stores in another low-income area of the city. The intervention (Baltimore Healthy Stores; BHS) included an environmental component to increase stocks of more nutritious foods and provided point-of-purchase promotions including signage for healthy choices and interactive nutrition education sessions. Using pre- and postassessments, the authors evaluated the impact of the program on 84 respondents sampled from the intervention and comparison areas. Exposure to intervention materials was modest in the intervention area, and overall healthy food purchasing scores, food knowledge, and self-efficacy did not show significant improvements associated with intervention status. However, based on adjusted multivariate regression results, the BHS program had a positive impact on healthfulness of food preparation methods and showed a trend toward improved intentions to make healthy food choices. Respondents in the intervention areas were significantly more likely to report purchasing promoted foods because of the presence of a BHS shelf label. This is the first food store intervention trial in low-income urban communities to show positive impacts at the consumer level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-402
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • African American
  • Food store program
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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