The dollar store diet: Study shows discount produce matches quality of traditional chains

phys.org | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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When you hear about dollar discount stores, the first thought that comes to mind likely isn't groceries for you and your family.

But it might be time to consider dollar-discount stores as a stop for your grocery needs, says a new UNLV study, which found that the quality of fruits and vegetables at dollar stores is just as good as regular grocery store produce.

Findings - News - People - Areas - Mile

The findings are especially good news for the 17.3 million people nationwide who live in low-income areas more than one mile from grocery stores—areas referred to as food deserts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dollar discount stores may exist in these areas and be an alternative for residents who currently access fast food or sugary and savory nutrient-deficient snacks found at gas stations which can lead to obesity or other health problems.

But lead author and UNLV School of Community Health Sciences professor Courtney Coughenour says the data, published this winter in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, benefits budget-conscious shoppers, too.

Research - Team - Channel - Blurring - Phenomenon

The research team championed channel blurring, the rising phenomenon of retailers diversifying their inventory to feature products commonly found elsewhere—think drug stores selling toys, grocery stores hawking patio furniture, or dollar stores incorporating a food section—with helping families across socioeconomic lines fill the nutrition gap.

"These findings are important for public health, as our study indicates that channel blurring at the dollar discount stores results in access to healthy, quality produce and affordable food options," the researchers wrote. "Because cost, quality, and accessibility are established barriers to healthy eating, dollar discount stores can serve as community assets that increase access to quality,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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