Consumer nutrition environment measurements for nutrient-dense food availability and food sustainability: A Scoping Review

Katherine Baker 1,2 ; Laura Burd 1, Roger Figueroa 1 1 Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 2 Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Resource type:
Peer review

This scoping review examines measures used to assess consumer nutrition environments, focusing on nutrient-dense food access and sustainability. Of the 2457 screened manuscripts, 58 met inclusion criteria. Most measures employ checklists, surveys, or questionnaires to evaluate availability, quality, and price of select food items, but few assess nutrient-dense food availability and even fewer assess food sustainability. The study emphasizes the need for comprehensive and valid measures to improve consumer food environments for both human and planetary health.

Top 5 points discussed :

1. Food as Health Opportunity: The paper underscores the pivotal role of food in safeguarding human and planetary health, focusing on the consumer nutrition environment.

2. Consumer Nutrition Measures Overview: The review provides a snapshot of existing measures for consumer nutrition environments, covering nutrient-dense food access, sustainability practices, and assessment reliability and validity.

3. Diverse Measurement Constructs: Assessments include factors like availability, price, quality, variety, placement, accessibility, and comparison of healthy vs. less healthy choices. However, environmental sustainability is inadequately addressed in only two studies.

4. Clarity in Defining Healthy Foods: Varied definitions of "healthy" foods hinder cross-study comparisons. The authors advocate for clear criteria, suggesting frameworks such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

5. Enhanced Rigor in Assessment Tools: There's a call for improved reliability and validity assessment of consumer nutrition environment tools to ensure robust measurement and accurate, replicable results.