Digital Sources of Food Purchasing Data for the Surveillance of Dietary Patterns

Katia Charland, Hiroshi Mamiya, David Buckeridge


Food consumption data gathered at a fine enough spatial and temporal resolution is essential for the effective delivery and evaluation of diet-related public health interventions. Currently, the standard for food consumption data is food surveys. However, they are a burden on the respondant, are prone to bias and are often published after a long delay. In our study, we illustrate the utility of digital food purchasing data in public health practice by demonstrating a drop in soda sales following two public health interventions implemented in late 2011 in Montreal, Canada, to decrease the consumption of soda in school-aged children.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *