Reducing inequalities in health and diet: findings from a study on the impact of a food retail development



Cummins S, Findlay A, Higgins C, Petticrew M, Sparks L & Thomson H (2008) Reducing inequalities in health and diet: findings from a study on the impact of a food retail development. Environment and Planning A, 40 (2), pp. 402-422.

The health and diet impacts of a large-scale food retail development within a deprived area of Glasgow (Springburn) are reported. The study used a prospective quasi-experimental design which compared changes in diet and psychological health in an area where a new hypermarket was built (the intervention area), with a similarly-deprived comparison area in Glasgow (Shettleston). A postal survey was undertaken both before and one year after the hypermarket was built, to assess changes in diet, self-reported health, and perceptions of neighbourhood. Changes in the retail structure of both areas were assessed through a before and (repeated) after intervention shop count survey. Qualitative data on diet, the neighbourhood and the impact of the store were collected through focus groups. The quantitative study found limited improvements in diet and health. There was weak evidence for the impact of the hypermarket on population diet. There was weak evidence that poor psychological health in the intervention area reduced. Amongst those who ‘switched’ to the new hypermarket there was weak evidence of a small improvement in mean fruit and vegetable consumption but good evidence of psychological health improvement. Qualitative and retail survey results reinforce this, identifying perceptions of areal improvement through redevelopment and a small positive impact of the new store on the intervention area’s retail structure.

diet; health; intervention; food deserts; hypermarket; Glasgow; Consumption (Economics); Consumer behavior; Food industry and trade; Hypermarkets Scotland Glasgow

Environment and Planning A: Volume 40, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2008
Publication date online17/08/2007

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Professor Leigh Sparks
Professor Leigh Sparks

Deputy Principal, Marketing & Retail