Impact of nutrition environmental interventions on point-of-purchase behavior in adults: A review

Jennifer D. Seymour, Amy Lazarus Yaroch, Mary Serdula, Heidi Michels Blanck, Laura Kettel Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Background. Nutrition interventions targeted to individuals are unlikely to significantly shift US dietary patterns as a whole. Environmental and policy interventions are more promising for shifting these patterns. We review interventions that influenced the environment through food availability, access, pricing, or information at the point-of-purchase in worksites, universities, grocery stores, and restaurants. Methods. Thirty-eight nutrition environmental intervention studies in adult populations, published between 1970 and June 2003, were reviewed and evaluated on quality of intervention design, methods, and description (e.g., sample size, randomization). No policy interventions that met inclusion criteria were found. Results. Many interventions were not thoroughly evaluated or lacked important evaluation information. Direct comparison of studies across settings was not possible, but available data suggest that worksite and university interventions have the most potential for success. Interventions in grocery stores appear to be the least effective. The dual concerns of health and taste of foods promoted were rarely considered. Sustainability of environmental change was never addressed. Conclusions. Interventions in "limited access" sites (i.e., where few other choices were available) had the greatest effect on food choices. Research is needed using consistent methods, better assessment tools, and longer durations; targeting diverse populations; and examining sustainability. Future interventions should influence access and availability, policies, and macroenvironments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-136
Number of pages29
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Environment
  • Grocery store
  • Nutrition
  • Policy
  • Restaurant
  • University
  • Worksite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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