U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

PubAg

Main content area

Influence of price discounts and skill-building strategies on purchase and consumption of healthy food and beverages: outcomes of the Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life randomized controlled trial

Author:
Ball, Kylie, McNaughton, Sarah A, Le, Ha ND, Gold, Lisa, Ni Mhurchu, Cliona, Abbott, Gavin, Pollard, Christina, Crawford, David
Source:
TheAmerican journal of clinical nutrition 2015 v.101 no.5 pp. 1055-1064
ISSN:
0002-9165
Subject:
behavior change, bottled water, cost effectiveness, females, frozen vegetables, fruit consumption, healthy diet, prices, purchasing, randomized clinical trials, supermarkets, surveys, vegetable consumption, vegetables, Australia
Abstract:
Background: Fiscal strategies are increasingly considered upstream nutrition promotion measures. However, few trials have investigated the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of pricing manipulations on diet in real-world settings. Objective: We assessed the effects on fruit, vegetable, and beverage purchasing and consumption of a 20% price-reduction intervention, a tailored skills-based behavior-change intervention, and a combined intervention compared with a control condition. Design: The Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life trial was a randomized controlled trial conducted over 3 mo [baseline (time 1) to postintervention (time 2) with a 6-mo follow-up (time 3)]. Female primary household shoppers in Melbourne, Australia, were randomly assigned to a 1) skill-building (n = 160), 2) price-reduction (n = 161), 3) combined skill-building and price-reduction (n = 160), or 4) control (n = 161) group. Supermarket transaction data and surveys were used to measure the following study outcomes: fruit, vegetable, and beverage purchases and self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption at each time point. Results: At 3 mo (time 2), price reduction–alone participants purchased more total vegetables and frozen vegetables than did controls. Price reduction–alone and price reduction–plus–skill-building participants purchased more fruit than did controls. Relative to controls, in the price-reduction group, total vegetable consumption increased by 233 g/wk (3.1 servings or 15% more than at baseline), and fruit purchases increased by 364 g/wk (2.4 servings; 35% more than at baseline). Increases were not maintained 6 mo postintervention (time 3). Price reduction–alone participants showed a tendency for a slight increase in fruit consumption at time 2 (P = 0.09) that was maintained at time 3 (P = 0.014). No intervention improved purchases of bottled water or low-calorie beverages. Conclusions: A 20% price reduction in fruit and vegetables resulted in increased purchasing per household of 35% for fruit and 15% for vegetables over the price-reduction period. These findings show that price modifications can directly increase produce purchases. The Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life trial was registered at Current Controlled Trials Registration as ISRCTN39432901.
Agid:
1298064