By Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDN
About 4 years ago I worked for a health center/gym where I was asked to give grocery store tours at a local grocer. As a Registered Dietitian it was just assumed I would know what to do and how to do this grocery store tour. Well I did not! Trust me, this was not at all taught or even heard of when I was going to school 30 years ago. I spent hours or research, memorized the store, wrote and practiced script after script and I finally did it. I can’t say I was great, but my audience seemed appreciative. I wish I had had more resources to fall back on when I was designing my first tour.
Grocery (Supermarket) store tours are becoming much are popular and there are many more resources for Dietitians to use today. While other people often lead a grocery store tour, the Dietitian is uniquely qualified to provide accurate up to date food, nutrition and health knowledge. Tours can be general shopping healthy or focus on specific diets such as Mediterranean Diets, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, FODMAP, etc. Some tours will never leave the produce section highlighting all the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Tours can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours but the most popular length it 1 to 1.5 hours.
Do grocery store tours change behavior. A a recent systematic review summarized supermarket interventions. Of the 8 studies reviewed, 4 indicated an increase in nutrition knowledge. No studies addressed long term behavior change. What this review discovered is there is a lack of quality research in this area. Certainly there is strong indications that these grocery store tours do increase knowledge in a fun, hands on environment, more research is needed that includes 3 and 6 month follow up.
In the meantime, grocery store tours are becoming more and more popular and you as a Dietitian may be asked to facilitate a group. Our upcoming free webinar “High Impact Impact Grocery Store Tours“, September 14, 11:00 ET you will learn from the expert Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Nutrition, Culinary Art, Heart Health, Dietitian and Healthy Living Advisor, Meijer. To register for this free webinar go to https://learn.extension.org/events/3067 . Dietitians receive 1 CEU.
While you are waiting for the webinar here are some resources for your own High Impact Grocery Store Tour.
Please share your best resources.
Resources for Dietitians:
eat right Pro The Supermarket RDN http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/news-center/in-practice/dietetics-in-action/the-supermarket-rdn#.WagbQHO00ck.email.
Today’s Dietitian Supermarket Dietitians: What They Can Do for You and Your Clients http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/exclusive0711.shtml#.WagaAUT0Ad0.email
Supermarket Savvy https://www.supermarketsavvy.com/
USDA SNAP Ed Supermarket Savvy Tour Training Kit Supermarket https://www.supermarketsavvy.com/
SUPERMARKET DIETITIAN RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCE LIST Created by: Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN Corporate Dietitian, Bashas’ Family of Stores (AZ) http://www.eatrightarizona.org/docs/2013%20Annual%20Mtg/SUPRMKT%20RD%20REC%20READING%20LIST-revJan2013.pdf
Today’s Dietitian Hosting Supermarket Tours by Barbara Ruhs, MS, RDN, LDN Nov 2015, Vol 17 No.11. p. 40 http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1115p40.shtml
Do you have additional references you like to use for grocery store tours?
Nikolaus, C.J., Muzaffar, H, Nickols-Richardson, S.M., Nutrition Education Medium: A Systematic Review J Nutr Educ Behav, 2016-09-01, Vol 41, Issue 8, p 544-554. https://experts.illinois.edu/en/persons/sharon-m-nickols/publications/
This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.