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July 10, 2020

Swansea University explores whether supermarkets are good for your health

Swansea UniversityDoes the accessibility of supermarkets change the diets of those living in poorer, inner-city suburbs with previously less access to fruit and vegetables? Do diets improve due to the proximity of larger supermarkets with their superior choice of food?

Dr Simon Rudkin, who works within Swansea University’s School of Management, embarked on this research and captured a variety of data through methods including questionnaires. This built a picture of household income, employment status and access to a motor vehicle.

The findings of the research showed the impact of the supermarkets did not affect the eating behaviours of those surveyed. In fact, a wider choice made those who had healthy eating habits consume more fruit and vegetables whilst those with poor diets consumed a greater quantity of unhealthy items.

Swansea University

Supermarkets claim to foster healthy eating habits, but Dr Rudkin’s research disproves this theory. The lower prices offered by supermarkets did result in greater consumption, but not of healthy food for those with poor diets. Dr Rudkin said: “Planning permission for supermarkets is granted on the grounds that they will improve health. This research reveals that this benefit was not in reality, achieved, and that a more holistic approach, looking at a variety of factors would need to be taken, to determine the health benefits of supermarkets.”

If you want to hear more from Dr Rudkin and his other research, listen to the recently launched podcast ‘There’s more to life than money: how do we measure happiness?’

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Content added on 10th July 2020. 

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