Slotting Study

Small retail food stores are ubiquitous in low income urban settings, and are a major food source among low income minority children (Larson et al 2009; Borradaile et al 2009). While previous research has been conducted to document and describe existing agreements between small retail stores and tobacco manufacturers/distributors in the US promoting the sale of tobacco products, little is known about the types of agreements that small retail food stores may have with manufacturers/distributors of high sugar, high fat food and beverage products. Work in North Carolina indicates that about 65% of tobacco retailers have these agreements. Stores that participated in cigarette company incentive programs featured more prominent placement of cigarettes and advertising, and appeared to have cheaper cigarette prices (Feighery et al 2004).
In addition, although more is known about the relationship between large retail food stores and food and beverage distributors, this research has not been replicated in small stores. Formal or informal agreements that directly or indirectly promote the availability and sale of high sugar, high fat foods and beverages could have an impact on the health of youth in our country. Understanding the nature and ubiquity of these agreements with small retail food stores will permit the development of policy and related intervention approaches to reduce the childhood obesity epidemic in our country.

Goals and Objectives
1. To conduct a mixed methods exploratory study of the prevalence and nature of agreements between small retail food stores and high sugar, high fat food and beverage manufacturers and distributors in four low income urban settings.
2. To analyze and report on these data and present the findings in peer-reviewed publications and policy briefs.

Contact Information
Lucy Horton