Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Background: Chronic diseases related to nutrition are a serious threat to public health. Supermarkets offer an important and promising venue to improve diet quality and overall health. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the supermarkets’ community nutrition focus and interest in public health.

Methods: This study emphasis’s a triangulated qualitative study design. It employs various methods and taps various sources for data. Twenty face-to-face, semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with five full service supermarket chains in Montgomery County, Ohio; Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer, Cub Foods, and Dorothy Lane Market. Qualitative sources of information collected include store observation and supermarket flyers.

Results: National, State, and Local involvement within the community was a theme for supermarkets throughout Montgomery County. Each individual supermarket chain has established their own unique strategies to provide nutritional information to consumers. Meijer is the only supermarket chain that provides a nutritional scoring system. Respondents from all five supermarket chains believe that their organizations advertisement services are meeting shoppers’ needs when it comes to assisting in purchasing healthy food.

Conclusion: Supermarkets are taking different roles in community nutrition through the types of programs and services they offer to consumers. There are public health benefits to understanding the role supermarkets can play in influencing food choices. The collaboration of community health organizations and supermarkets would provide the opportunity to educate the public about the connection between diet and disease.