Measurement of Food Availability in the Home

Authors

  • Maria Bryant PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
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  • June Stevens PhD

    1. Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
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Obesity Research Group, 208 North Columbia Street, CB #7456, Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599–7456; Phone: 919–966–2327; Fax: 919–966–8392; E-mail: mariab@email.unc.edu.

Abstract

The importance of environment on food choices has recently received increased attention. One environment likely to be influential is the home food environment. This review examines 23 studies that used either researcher-conducted open inventories or self-report checklists to assess food availability in the home. Only three were open inventories (this technique is rarely used, most likely because of low feasibility). Self-report checklists varied in length and the items included. Two checklists, validated using observation, showed high sensitivity and specificity (87% or above). We provide recommendations to develop and validate population-specific tools that measure home food availability.

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