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Fruit and vegetable desirability is lower in more rural built food environments of Montana, USA using the Produce Desirability (ProDes) Tool


  • Selena Ahmed

    (Montana State University)

  • Carmen Byker Shanks

    (Montana State University)

  • Teresa Smith

    (Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition)

  • Justin Shanks

    (Library, Montana State University)


The main objective of this study is to present a food environment measure, the Produce Desirability (ProDes) Tool, to assess consumer desirability of fruits and vegetables (FVs) based on generalizable sensory characteristics that can be applied in diverse socio-ecological contexts. We implemented the ProDes Tool in rural and urban built food environments (grocery stores) in 11 counties in the frontier state of Montana, United States, towards elucidating access gaps to desirable produce based on rurality of location. Total ProDes scores were calculated by averaging the five sensory parameters of the tool (overall desirability, visual appeal, touch and firmness, aroma, and size) for individual and total FVs. We statistically analyzed the relationship of ProDes scores by FV type, rurality, Nutrition Environment Measurement Scores for Stores (NEMS-S), and price. Mean Total ProDes scores for all produce was 3.5 (SD = 0.7), or low to moderate, on a 7-point scale (0 to 6). Significant differences (p

Suggested Citation

  • Selena Ahmed & Carmen Byker Shanks & Teresa Smith & Justin Shanks, 2018. "Fruit and vegetable desirability is lower in more rural built food environments of Montana, USA using the Produce Desirability (ProDes) Tool," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(1), pages 169-182, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0748-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-017-0748-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas R V Jones & Annalijn I Conklin & Marc Suhrcke & Pablo Monsivais, 2014. "The Growing Price Gap between More and Less Healthy Foods: Analysis of a Novel Longitudinal UK Dataset," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(10), pages 1-7, October.
    2. Ashkan Afshin & José L Peñalvo & Liana Del Gobbo & Jose Silva & Melody Michaelson & Martin O'Flaherty & Simon Capewell & Donna Spiegelman & Goodarz Danaei & Dariush Mozaffarian, 2017. "The prospective impact of food pricing on improving dietary consumption: A systematic review and meta-analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(3), pages 1-18, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jiaojiao Li & Guobao Song & Henry Musoke Semakula & Yijie Dou & Shushen Zhang, 2019. "Food access inequalities in Chinese urban neighborhoods: a case study of the Dalian development zone," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 11(5), pages 1087-1099, October.

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