Development and Process Evaluation of an In-store Grocery Shopping Lesson for Adolescents and their Parents

Open Access
Graziose, Matthew
Graduate Program:
Nutritional Sciences
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 17, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Sharon Nickols Richarson, Thesis Advisor
  • Laura E Murray Kolb, Thesis Advisor
  • Melissa Jean Bopp, Thesis Advisor
  • adolescents
  • grocery
  • supermarket
  • nutrition education
  • focus group
Recent estimations have asserted that the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents (ages 2-19y) is upwards of 16% of the population. One key recommendation to increase overall health and maintain a healthy weight is to increase fruit and vegetable intake; this recommendation is outlined in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Yet, estimations of fruit and vegetable intakes among adolescents (ages 12-18y) have shown that less than one in ten is meeting the recommended intake. There still exists a great need to translate these recommendations into practice. In 2010, Americans spent $521 billion dollars in grocery stores. Nutrition education interventions can capitalize on this environment to change purchasing behavior, and thus intake behavior. Previous interventions that have taken place within grocery stores have included manipulations to food pricing and its placement in stores, and point-of-purchase information available to consumers. The purpose of the current research was to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of a grocery store nutrition lesson for adolescents and their parents. It was hypothesized that a lesson that integrated the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans with a change in purchasing power of consumers and increased self-efficacy to find, select and purchase healthy foods would be feasible to develop and implement in grocery stores. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that the lesson would impact specific measures of self-efficacy in relation to shopping for and locating healthier options within stores. The lesson was developed and pilot tested three times at separate grocery stores and included process evaluation to determine feasibility of implementation. A focus group and a grocery shopping self-efficacy survey of the participants was a measure dose received. Content validity was assessed by submitting to eight experts for review. Relevancy of the lesson to grocery shopping knowledge and skills was rated as 3.89±0.56 (somewhat relevant) and perceived ability of activities to achieve the four learning objectives was marked as 4.38±0.78 (some to high ability) by reviewers. The lesson was delivered three separate times for a total of 15 adolescents (average age 11.6 years [10-13 years]) and adults (average age 42.3 years [31-53 years]). Total time taken to deliver the lesson averaged 124.3 minutes [120-130 minutes]. Discussion 1 took an average of 16.6 minutes [12-19.5 minutes], Activity 1 took an average of 15.3 minutes [13-17 minutes], Discussion 2 took an average of 48.7 minutes [34-64 minutes] and Discussion 3 took an average of 36 minutes [26-43 minutes]. Common focus groups themes included a reported liking of the lesson, positive recommendation to friends, likelihood of parents including adolescents in future grocery-shopping trips, and adolescent interest in grocery shopping. The qualitative responses of participants provide promising indications for continued research in this area. Practicing dieticians and nutrition educators can use the current research to inform future interventions in the adolescent population. The grocery store remains a relevant location in which nutrition education can take place; this research highlights the ease with which existing community groups can be recruited and grocery stores can be used as the site for a guided tour.