Dietary questions were from the validated National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009–2010 dietary screener [33, 46]. The Dietary Screener Questionnaire is composed of 26 questions that ask about the frequency of consumption in the past month of selected foods and drinks to capture intakes of fruits and vegetables, dairy/calcium, whole grains/fiber, added sugars, red meat, and processed meat. The following dietary variables were used to examine associations between intake of specific foods and availability, price, and quality of foods as determined via the NEMS-S food store audits: Fruit and vegetable, milk, red meat, high fiber cereal, regular soda pop, sweetened fruit drinks, sweet rolls, muffins, cookies, cake, pie, doughnuts, and ice cream. The following dichotomous food categories were used for all dietary variables based on distribution of the data. The data were skewed and not evenly distributed amongst the various categories and thus the median value was used for each food category. (1) Fruit and vegetable: less than two times per day and two times or more per day; (2) Milk: less than once per day and once or per day; (3) Red meat: less than two times per week and two times or more per week; (4) High fiber cereal: less than once per day and once or more per day; (5) Sweetened beverages (includes regular soda pop and sweetened beverages): never and at least once per week; (6) Baked goods and sweets (includes sweet rolls, muffins, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pie, and ice cream): less than five times per week and five times or more per week.
Fruit consumption was derived by asking participants “How often (times per month) do you eat fruit? Include fresh, frozen or canned fruit. Do not include juices. Do not include dried fruits.” Vegetable consumption was derived by asking participants “How often (times per month) do you eat a green leafy or lettuce salad, with or without other vegetables? Include: Spinach salads.” “Not including what you just told me about (lettuce salads, potatoes, cooked dried beans), how often do you eat other vegetables? Examples of other vegetables include: carrots, corn, cabbage, bean sprouts, collard greens, and broccoli. All other dietary questions were asked in the following format: “How often (times per month) do you consume _____ (milk, red meat [pork, beef, ham, or sausage], high fiber cereal [cereal name was given and fiber content was assessed with diet database to determine grams of fiber], baked good and sweets [doughnuts, pastries, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, cakes, pie, or brownies] and sweetened beverages [regular soda or pop but not diet soda, sweetened fruit drinks, sports or energy drinks, such as KoolAid, lemonade, HiC, cranberry drink, Gatorade, Red Bull or Vitamin Water, and coffee or tea that had sugar or honey added to it]). Participants could answer per day, week, or month. The variables were recalculated to assess consumption during a day or week depending on distribution of the data.