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Prev Med Rep. 2015 Mar 2;2:164-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.02.012. eCollection 2015.

Examining food purchasing patterns from sales data at a full-service grocery store intervention in a former food desert.

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Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada; School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.



The Good Food Junction Grocery Store was opened in a former food desert in the inner city of Saskatoon, Canada.


The purpose of this research was to examine, using grocery store sales data, healthy and less healthful food purchasing over a one-year period beginning eight months after opening by shoppers' neighborhood of residence.


A multilevel cross sectional design was used. The sample consisted of members of the Good Food Junction with a valid address in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All purchases made by members who reported their postal code of residence from May 15, 2013 to April 30, 2014 were analyzed. The outcome variable was the total amount spent on foods in 11 food groups. Linear random intercept models with three levels were fit to the data.


Shoppers who were residents of former food desert neighborhoods spent $0.7 (95% CI: 0.2 to 1.2) more on vegetables, and $1.2 (95% CI: - 1.8 to - 0.6) less on meat, and $1.1 (95% CI: - 2.0 to - 0.3) less on prepared foods than shoppers who did not reside in those neighborhoods.


When given geographical access to healthy food, people living in disadvantaged former food desert neighborhoods will take advantage of that access.


Food environment; Population health intervention; Sales data

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