It is unclear whether racial/ethnic and income differences in foods and beverages obtained from stores contribute to disparities in caloric intake over time.
We sought to determine whether there are disparities in calories obtained from store-bought consumer packaged goods (CPGs), whether brands (name brands compared with private labels) matter, and if disparities have changed over time.
We used NHANES individual dietary intake data among households with children along with the Nielsen Homescan data on CPG purchases among households with children. With NHANES, we compared survey-weighted energy intakes for 2003-2006 and 2009-2012 from store and nonstore sources by race/ethnicity [non-Hispanic whites (NHWs), non-Hispanic blacks (NHBs), and Hispanic Mexican-Americans) and income [≤185% federal poverty line (FPL), 186-400% FPL, and >400% FPL]. With the Nielsen data, we compared 2000-2013 trends in calories purchased from CPGs (obtained from stores) across brands by race/ethnicity (NHW, NHB, and Hispanic) and income. We conducted random-effect models to derive adjusted trends and differences in calories purchased (708,175 observations from 64,709 unique households) and tested whether trends were heterogeneous by race/ethnicity or income.
Store-bought foods and beverages represented the largest component of dietary intake, with greater decreases in energy intakes in nonstore sources for foods and in store sources for beverages. Beverages from stores consistently decreased in all subpopulations. However, in adjusted models, reductions in CPG calories purchased in 2009-2012 were slower for NHB and low-income households than for NHW and high-income households, respectively. The decline in calories from name-brand food purchases was slower among NHB, Hispanic, and lowest-income households. NHW and high-income households had the highest absolute calories purchased in 2000.
Across 2 large data sources, we found decreases in intake and purchases of beverages from stores across racial/ethnic and income groups. However, potentially beneficial reductions in calories purchased were more pronounced in some subgroups over others.