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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Supplement 1, pp eS4–eS13 | Cite as

Retail food environments research in Canada: A scoping review

  • Leia M. MinakerEmail author
  • Alanna Shuh
  • Dana L. Olstad
  • Rachel Engler-Stringer
  • Jennifer L. Black
  • Catherine L. Mah
Scoping Review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The field of retail food environments research is relatively new in Canada. The objective of this scoping review is to provide an overview of retail food environments research conducted before July 2015 in Canada. Specifically, this review describes research foci and key findings, identifies knowledge gaps and suggests future directions for research.

METHODS: A search of published literature concerning Canadian investigations of retail food environment settings (food stores, restaurants) was conducted in July 2015 using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, PsychInfo and ERIC. Studies published in English that reported qualitative or quantitative data on any aspect of the retail food environment were included, as were conceptual papers and commentaries.

SYNTHESIS: Eighty-eight studies were included in this review and suggest that the field of retail food environments research is rapidly expanding in Canada. While only 1 paper was published before 2005, 66 papers were published between 2010 and 2015. Canadian food environments research typically assessed either the socio-economic patterning of food environments (n = 28) or associations between retail food environments and diet, anthropometric or health outcomes (n= 33). Other papers profiled methodological research, qualitative studies, intervention research and critical commentaries (n = 27). Key gaps in the current literature include measurement inconsistency among studies and a lack of longitudinal and intervention studies.

CONCLUSION: Retail food environments are a growing topic of research, policy and program development in Canada. Consistent methods (where appropriate), longitudinal and intervention research, and close partnerships between researchers and key stakeholders would greatly advance the field of retail food environments research in Canada.

KEY WORDS

Food environment inequalities Canada review 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS : Le domaine de la recherche sur les environnements alimentaires au détail est relativement nouveau au Canada. Dans notre étude de champ, nous donnons un aperçu de la recherche sur les environnements alimentaires au détail menée avant juillet 2015 au Canada. En particulier, nous décrivons les objectifs et les principales constatations de la recherche, nous en cernons les lacunes et nous suggérons des pistes de recherche futures.

MÉTHODE : Nous avons interrogé les bases de données PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, PsychInfo et ERIC en juillet 2015 pour recenser les enquêtes canadiennes publiées qui traitent des points de vente d’aliments au détail (magasins d’alimentation, restaurants). Nous avons inclus les études parues en anglais qui présentaient des données qualitatives ou quantitatives sur tout aspect de l’environnement alimentaire au détail, ainsi que les documents conceptuels et les commentaires.

SYNTHÈSE : Quatre-vingt-huit études ont été incluses dans notre revue, ce qui indique que le domaine de la recherche sur les environnements alimentaires au détail se développe rapidement au Canada. Un seul article avait été publié avant 2005, mais 66 l’ont été entre 2010 et 2015. La recherche canadienne sur les environnements alimentaires évalue généralement soit la structuration socioéconomique des environnements alimentaires (n = 28), soit les associations entre les environnements alimentaires au détail et le régime alimentaire, les données anthropométriques ou les résultats sanitaires (n= 33). Les autres articles présentent de la recherche méthodologique, des études qualitatives, de la recherche d’intervention et des commentaires critiques (n = 27). Les principales lacunes dans la littérature actuelle sont le manque d’uniformité des indicateurs choisis dans les études et le manque d’études longitudinales et d’études d’intervention.

CONCLUSION : Les environnements alimentaires au détail sont un sujet qui intéresse de plus en plus la recherche et l’élaboration des politiques et des programmes au Canada. Des méthodes uniformes (le cas échéant), des études longitudinales, de la recherche d’intervention et des partenariats étroits entre les chercheurs et les acteurs privilégiés feraient grandement progresser le domaine de la recherche sur les environnements alimentaires au détail au Canada.

MOTS CLÉS

nourriture environnement inégalités Canada revue de la littérature 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leia M. Minaker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alanna Shuh
    • 1
  • Dana L. Olstad
    • 2
  • Rachel Engler-Stringer
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. Black
    • 4
  • Catherine L. Mah
    • 5
  1. 1.Propel Centre for Population Health ImpactUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of HealthDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  4. 4.Food, Nutrition and HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  5. 5.Faculty of MedicineMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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