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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Dec;108(12):2051-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.09.001.

Capturing the spectrum of household food and beverage purchasing behavior: a review.

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  • 1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454, USA.


The household setting may be the most important level at which to understand the food choices of individuals and how healthful food choices can be promoted. However, there are few available measures of the food purchase behaviors of households and little consensus on the best way to measure it. This review explores the currently available measures of household food purchasing behavior. Three main measures are described, evaluated, and compared: home food inventories, food and beverage purchase records and receipts, and Universal Product Code bar code scanning. The development of coding, aggregation, and analytical methods for these measures of household food purchasing behavior is described. Currently, annotated receipts and records are the most comprehensive, detailed measure of household food purchasing behavior, and are feasible for population-based samples. Universal Product Code scanning is not recommended due to its cost and complexity. Research directions to improve household food purchasing behavior measures are discussed.

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