Reliability of a retail food store survey and development of an accompanying retail scoring system to communicate survey findings and identify vendors for healthful food and marketing initiatives

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011 Jul-Aug;43(4 Suppl 2):S104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.03.003.


Objective: To develop a retail grocery instrument with weighted scoring to be used as an indicator of the food environment.

Participants/setting: Twenty six retail food stores in low-income areas in California.

Intervention: Observational.

Main outcome measure(s): Inter-rater reliability for grocery store survey instrument. Description of store scoring methodology weighted to emphasize availability of healthful food.

Analysis: Type A intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) with absolute agreement definition or a κ test for measures using ranges as categories.

Results: Measures of availability and price of fruits and vegetables performed well in reliability testing (κ = 0.681-0.800). Items for vegetable quality were better than for fruit (ICC 0.708 vs 0.528). Kappa scores indicated low to moderate agreement (0.372-0.674) on external store marketing measures and higher scores for internal store marketing. "Next to" the checkout counter was more reliable than "within 6 feet." Health departments using the store scoring system reported it as the most useful communication of neighborhood findings.

Conclusions and implications: There was good reliability of the measures among the research pairs. The local store scores can show the need to bring in resources and to provide access to fruits and vegetables and other healthful food.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food Industry*
  • Fruit
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Marketing*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vegetables