Sociodemographic disparities in dietary intake and food purchasing
The Global Food Research Program is working to examine how various socioeconomic factors affect short-term and long-term food purchases and dietary intake between and within critical race/ethnic and socioeconomic subpopulations.
With our complex database linking food and beverage purchases by >50,000 US households each year to Nutrition Facts Panel data, we are currently studying differences in purchasing patterns across race/ethnic and income groups, including differences in highly processed and convenience food purchases, shopping patterns at different store types (e.g. grocery stores vs. convenience stores vs. drug stores vs. supercenters), shopping behavior related to Walmart and its nutrient impact, purchases by brand type (e.g. private label/store brands vs. national brands), and sources of sodium among food and beverage purchases. Additionally, we are determining whether changes in the sodium content of the food supply, resulting from product reformulations and introduction of new lower-sodium products, have differentially impacted race/ethnic minorities or low-income households.
Moreover, with our “crosswalk” approach, we will create nutritional profiles of food and beverage items (USDA food codes) reflective of the brand and product purchasing preferences of critical race/ethnic and SES populations. We can then determine how these differences in product purchases translate into differential dietary intake across race/ethnicity and SES, potentially contributing to sociodemographic health disparities.