Using a Grocery List Is Associated with a Healthier Diet and Lower BMI Among Very High-Risk Adults

Published in: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, v. 47, no. 3, May-June 2015, p. 259-264

Posted on RAND.org on May 12, 2015

by Tamara Dubowitz, Deborah Cohen, Christina Y. Huang, Robin Beckman, Rebecca L. Collins

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OBJECTIVE: Examine whether use of a grocery list is associated with healthier diet and weight among food desert residents. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of in-person interview data from randomly selected household food shoppers in 2 low-income, primarily African American urban neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA with limited access to healthy foods. RESULTS: Multivariate ordinary least-square regressions conducted among 1,372 participants and controlling for sociodemographic factors and other potential confounding variables indicated that although most of the sample (78%) was overweight or obese, consistently using a list was associated with lower body mass index (based on measured height and weight) (adjusted multivariant coefficient = 0.095) and higher dietary quality (based on the Healthy Eating Index–2005) (adjusted multivariant coefficient = 0.103) (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Shopping with a list may be a useful tool for low-income individuals to improve diet or decrease body mass index.

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