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Supermarket Interventions and Diet in areas of Limited Retail Access: Policy Suggestions from the Seacroft Intervention Study


  • Rudkin, Simon


Globally supermarkets have been seen as a remedy to the problems of poor diets in deprived neighbourhoods where access to healthy foodstuffs has been limited. This study seeks to quantify the consequences of one such United Kingdom intervention, in Seacroft, Leeds. Where previous work often focused on fruit and vegetables, this paper presents evidence on all food and drink consumed before, and after, the new opening. It is shown that utilising large format retailers can also bring significant negative consequences for already unhealthy diets, exactly the opposite of what policy makers set out to achieve. Suggestion is therefore made that policymakers consider using price, or education, interventions rather than promoting large shops, which, while stocking cheap healthy food also offer shoppers the unhealthy produce they like at low prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Rudkin, Simon, 2015. "Supermarket Interventions and Diet in areas of Limited Retail Access: Policy Suggestions from the Seacroft Intervention Study," MPRA Paper 62434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:62434

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dave Weatherspoon & James Oehmke & Assa Dembélé & Marcus Coleman & Thasanee Satimanon & Lorraine Weatherspoon, 2013. "Price and Expenditure Elasticities for Fresh Fruits in an Urban Food Desert," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 50(1), pages 88-106, January.
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    5. Richard Volpe & Abigail Okrent & Ephraim Leibtag, 2013. "The Effect of Supercenter-format Stores on the Healthfulness of Consumers' Grocery Purchases," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(3), pages 568-589.
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    8. Len Gill & Simon Rudkin, 2014. "Deconstructing Supermarket Intervention Effects on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Areas of Limited Retail Access: Evidence from the Seacroft Study," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 46(3), pages 649-665, March.
    9. Ian Clarke & Malcolm Kirkup & Harmen Oppewal, 2012. "Consumer Satisfaction with Local Retail Diversity in the UK: Effects of Supermarket Access, Brand Variety, and Social Deprivation," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 44(8), pages 1896-1911, August.
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    1. Taiyang Zhong & Zhenzhong Si & Jonathan Crush & Steffanie Scott & Xianjin Huang, 2019. "Achieving urban food security through a hybrid public-private food provisioning system: the case of Nanjing, China," 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 1071-1086, October.

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    More about this item


    Food desert intervention; diet; healthy eating; supermarkets;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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