Background: Grocery stores and community settings are important and promising venues for environmental, policy, and pricing initiatives to increase fruit and vegetable intake. This article examines supermarket-based and community environmental, policy, and pricing strategies for increasing intake of fruits and vegetables and identifies promising strategies, research needs, and innovative opportunities for the future.
Methods: The strategies, examples, and research reported here were identified through an extensive search of published journal articles, reports, and inquiries to leaders in the field. Recommendations were expanded with input from participants in the CDC/ACS-sponsored Fruit and Vegetable, Environment Policy and Pricing Workshop held in September of 2002.
Results: Four key types of grocery-store-based interventions include point-of-purchase (POP) information; reduced prices and coupons; increased availability, variety, and convenience; and promotion and advertising. There is strong support for the feasibility of these approaches and modest evidence of their efficacy in influencing eating behavior. Church-based programs, child care center policies, and multisectoral community approaches show promise.
Conclusions: Both descriptive and intervention research are needed to develop and evaluate more effective environmental strategies to increase F&V intake in grocery stores and communities. Innovative strategies, partnerships, grass roots action involving economic development for low-income communities, and sustainability are important considerations.