Development and reliability testing of a food store observation form

Leah Rimkus, Lisa M. Powell, Shannon N. Zenk, Euna Han, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Oksana Pugach, Dianne C. Barker, Elissa A. Resnick, Christopher M. Quinn, Jaana Myllyluoma, Frank J. Chaloupka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To develop a reliable food store observational data collection instrument to be used for measuring product availability, pricing, and promotion. Design: Observational data collection. Setting: A total of 120 food stores (26 supermarkets, 34 grocery stores, 54 gas/convenience stores, and 6 mass merchandise stores) in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area. Main Outcome Measures: Inter-rater reliability for product availability, pricing, and promotion measures on a food store observational data collection instrument. Analysis: Cohen's kappa coefficient and proportion of overall agreement for dichotomous variables and intra-class correlation coefficient for continuous variables. Results: Inter-rater reliability, as measured by average kappa coefficient, was 0.84 for food and beverage product availability measures, 0.80 for interior store characteristics, and 0.70 for exterior store characteristics. For continuous measures, average intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.82 for product pricing measures; 0.90 for counts of fresh, frozen, and canned fruit and vegetable options; and 0.85 for counts of advertisements on the store exterior and property. Conclusions and Implications: The vast majority of measures demonstrated substantial or almost perfect agreement. Although some items may require revision, results suggest that the instrument may be used to reliably measure the food store environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-548
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this study was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Bridging the Gap Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (PI: Chaloupka). The authors gratefully acknowledge the input provided by their expert panel when creating the original food store observation form: Tracy Fox, MPH, RD, Consultant; Joel Gittelsohn, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; Karen Glanz, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Valerie Quinn, MEd, California Department of Health Services; Donald (Diego) Rose, PhD, Tulane University; Joseph Sharkey, PhD, Texas A&M University; and Mary Story, PhD, Healthy Eating Research program at the University of Minnesota.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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