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Casagrande, Sarah Stark, Manuel Franco, Joel Gittelsohn, Alan B. Zonderman, Michele K. Evans, Marie FanelliKuczmarski, and Tiffany Gary-Webb. "Healthy Food Availability and the Association with Body Mass Index in Baltimore City, Maryland." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

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Article

Shelf Space Devoted to Nutritious Foods Correlates with BMI

1Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA; Mackenzie Norman


American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2014, Vol. 2 No. 2, 18-22
DOI: 10.12691/ajfn-2-2-1
Copyright © 2014 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Mackenzie Norman, Jordan Hoffmann, Lawrence J. Cheskin. Shelf Space Devoted to Nutritious Foods Correlates with BMI. American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2014; 2(2):18-22. doi: 10.12691/ajfn-2-2-1.

Correspondence to: Mackenzie  Norman, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA; Mackenzie Norman. Email: mackenzienorman@gmail.com

Abstract

Obesity continues to be a threat to global health. The goal of this study was to examine the correlation between shelf space devoted to various categories of food and BMI in a variety of nations. A total of 121 supermarkets in 10 different countries were evaluated by taking linear measurements of shelf space devoted to 8 categories of foods, and assessing whether there was any relationship to mean population BMI. Trends were detected for the following food categories: 1. higher percent shelf space devoted to fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, canned vegetables, and canned fruit were all associated with a lower national BMI; 2. higher percent shelf space devoted to cereals/pastas/grains/bread, junk food and dairy showed a trend to higher national BMI. Percent supermarket shelf space devoted to healthful foods across 10 different countries correlated with lower BMI ranking by WHO statistics; percent shelf space of grains, dairy and junk food was different for each country and showed a positive trend with BMI. Supermarket shelf space use can offer insight into a country’s BMI, and represents a potential intervention avenue for positive health impact. Further work is needed to confirm this correlation in other nations, regions, and socioeconomic and demographic categories within nations.

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