Objective: To evaluate evidence regarding grocery store tours as an effective nutrition education medium for improving nutrition knowledge and food-related behaviors.
Design: A systematic literature review of studies published from 1984 to 2015 concerning grocery store (or supermarket) tours and impact on nutrition knowledge and behaviors. Three investigators independently reviewed articles, extracted details, and assessed the quality of each study.
Results: Of 307 citations identified, 8 were reviewed and 6 were of neutral quality. Increases in nutrition knowledge were reported in 4 studies, as evaluated by investigator-designed quizzes, with short intervals between tours and assessments. Six programs assessed behavior change using subjective reports or objective purchasing behavior measures; 2 studies did not perform statistical analyses. The 6 studies that reported positive health-related outcomes had varying topics, tour lengths, and target audiences.
Conclusions and implications: Grocery store tours are increasingly used as an avenue for nutrition education to improve knowledge and/or alter food selection behaviors and may result in positive outcomes, but it is unknown whether these outcomes persist for longer than 3 months after the tour and whether there are common attributes of effective grocery store tours. More rigorous studies with uniform methodology in study design and outcome measures are needed to confirm the effectiveness of supermarket tours.
Keywords: grocery store; health behaviors; nutrition education; supermarket; tour.
Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.