Healthful Food Availability in Stores and Restaurants — American Samoa, 2014
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Healthful Food Availability in Stores and Restaurants — American Samoa, 2014

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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    American Samoa, one of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, has documented the highest prevalence of adults with obesity (75%) in the world. The nutritionally poor food and beverage environment of food retail venues has been suspected to be a contributing factor, although an evaluation of these venues in American Samoa has not been conducted. In January 2014, American Samoa established an Obesity Task Force to develop policies and strategies to combat obesity. To inform the efforts of the task force, the American Samoa Department of Health and CDC conducted a baseline assessment of the availability, pricing, and promotion of healthful foods at retail food venues. Previously validated food environment assessment tools were modified to incorporate American Samoa foods and administered in a geographically representative sample of 70 stores (nine grocery stores and 61 convenience stores) and 20 restaurants. In convenience stores, healthful items were not found as available as less healthful counterparts, and some healthful items were more expensive than their less healthful counterparts. For restaurants, 70% offered at least one healthful entrée, whereas only 30% had healthful side dishes, such as vegetables. Actions to promote healthy eating, such as providing calorie information, were rare among restaurants. Improving availability, affordability, and the promotion of healthful foods in American Samoa stores and restaurants could support healthy eating among American Samoa residents.
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