Objective The purpose of the present study was to measure the availability of energy-dense foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in pharmacies and to examine differences by pharmacy type and presence of a food policy.Design Trained research staff visited pharmacies (n 37) to measure shelf space and variety of snacks, candy and sugar-sweetened beverages available within 10 ft (3·05 m) of the pharmacy register.Setting Community clinic, hospital and commercial pharmacies in Minneapolis, MN, USA.Subjects Employees were interviewed regarding pharmacy food policies.Results Approximately 60 % of pharmacies had foods and/or sugar-sweetened beverages available for purchase within 10 ft (3·05 m) of the pharmacy register. Total shelf space (P = 0·02) and variety (P = 0·0003) differed significantly by pharmacy type and were greatest among community clinic pharmacies. Over half of pharmacies had no food policy (58·3 %). Pharmacies with food policies were less likely to have foods/beverages available within 10 ft (3·05 m) of the pharmacy register than pharmacies with no food policies (P = 0·03).Conclusions Candy, snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages are highly available in the pharmacy environment. Presence of a policy is associated with less food availability within 10 ft (3·05 m) of the pharmacy register and represents an important potential intervention strategy.
- Food environment
- Sugar-sweetened beverages