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

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 May-Jun;47(3):259-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.01.005.


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.

Keywords: body mass index; dietary quality; food desert; food shopping; grocery list.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology