Capturing the Spectrum of Household Food and Beverage Purchasing Behavior: A Review

Simone A. French, Scott T. Shimotsu, Melanie Wall, Anne Faricy Gerlach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The household setting may be the most important level at which to understand the food choices of individuals and how healthful food choices can be promoted. However, there are few available measures of the food purchase behaviors of households and little consensus on the best way to measure it. This review explores the currently available measures of household food purchasing behavior. Three main measures are described, evaluated, and compared: home food inventories, food and beverage purchase records and receipts, and Universal Product Code bar code scanning. The development of coding, aggregation, and analytical methods for these measures of household food purchasing behavior is described. Currently, annotated receipts and records are the most comprehensive, detailed measure of household food purchasing behavior, and are feasible for population-based samples. Universal Product Code scanning is not recommended due to its cost and complexity. Research directions to improve household food purchasing behavior measures are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2058
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


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