Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Socio-economic and age variations in response to supermarket-led checkout food policies: a repeated measures analysis
Author(s): Ejlerskov, Katrine
Sharp, Stephen
Stead, Martine
Adamson, Ashley
White, Martin
Adams, Jean
Keywords: Inequalities
Public health
Issue Date: 5-Dec-2018
Citation: Ejlerskov K, Sharp S, Stead M, Adamson A, White M & Adams J (2018) Socio-economic and age variations in response to supermarket-led checkout food policies: a repeated measures analysis. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15, Art. No.: 125.
Abstract: Background: Dietary inequalities between population groups are common with older and more affluent individuals tending to have healthier diets. Differential responses to health interventions may exacerbate inequalities. Changing what foods are displayed at supermarket checkouts is one intervention that has the potential to change diets. The aim of this study was to assess whether differences in purchases of common checkout foods from supermarkets with different checkout food policies varied according to age group and social grade. Methods: We analysed annual household purchase data for 2013-17 from nine leading UK supermarkets, split according to age of the main household shopper and household social grade. Checkout food policies were categorised as clear and consistent, vague or inconsistent, and none. Policies were heterogeneous but all included removal of confectionery and/or chocolate from checkouts. Mixed effects linear regression models were used to assess differences in purchases of common checkout foods (sugary confectionery, chocolate and potato crisps) by checkout food policy and whether these varied by age group or occupational social grade. Results: Relative to supermarkets with no checkout food policy, 14% (95% CI: 4-22%) fewer purchases of common checkout foods per household per percentage market share were made in supermarkets with a clear and consistent policy. Adjusted mean numbers of purchases were higher in older age groups than the youngest, but there were no differences between the highest and other social grades. There were significant interactions between checkout food policy and both age group and social grade. In supermarkets with clear and consistent policies, 23% (6-36%), 20% (2-34%), and 23% (7-37%) fewer purchases were made in age groups 45-54, 55-64 and 65+ years respectively, compared to all groups combined. In supermarkets with clear and consistent policies, there were 21% (4-35%), 26% (9-39%) and 21% (3-35%) fewer purchases made by households in the highest two and lowest social grades respectively, compared to all groups combined. Conclusions: Households with older main shoppers and those in the most and least affluent social grades may be most responsive to supermarket checkout food policies. As older and more affluent groups tend to have healthier diets overall, it is unlikely that supermarket checkout food policies contribute to greater dietary equity.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12966-018-0755-4
Rights: © The Author(s). 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Socioeconomic and age vriations.pdfFulltext - Published Version706.51 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.