Accurate measurement of household food purchase behavior (HFPB) is important for understanding its association with household characteristics, individual dietary intake and neighborhood food retail outlets. However, little research has been done to develop measures of HFPB. The main objective of this paper is to describe the development of a measure of HFPB using annotated food purchase receipts.
Households collected and annotated food purchase receipts for a four-week period as part of the baseline assessment of a household nutrition intervention. Receipts were collected from all food sources, including grocery stores and restaurants. Households (n = 90) were recruited from the community as part of an obesity prevention intervention conducted in 2007–2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Household primary shoppers were trained to follow a standardized receipt collection and annotation protocol. Annotated receipts were mailed weekly to research staff. Staff coded the receipt data and entered it into a database. Total food dollars, proportion of food dollars, and ounces of food purchased were examined for different food sources and food categories. Descriptive statistics and correlations are presented.
A total of 2,483 receipts were returned by 90 households. Home sources comprised 45% of receipts and eating-out sources 55%. Eating-out entrees were proportionally the largest single food category based on counts (16.6%) and dollars ($106 per month). Two-week expenditures were highly correlated (r = 0.83) with four-week expenditures.