- Poster Competition:
An Analysis of Tobacco and Food Purchases
Professor John Hurdle, Biomedical Informatics, has developed QualMART, a tool for helping grocery stores promote healthy eating habits for their customers. To validate the effectiveness of this tool, the group conducted a study that compared tobacco purchases and the quality of food purchases. They classified household grocery transactions in the Atlanta region, based on whether shoppers had ever purchased tobacco, and then applied their novel food purchase quality scoring measure to evaluate the household food environment. The master database with 15 months’ shopping activity from over 100,000 households nationally is housed on a HIPAA-compliant cluster at CHPC (accessed via Swasey).
The graphic shows the difference between ‘ever’ and ‘never’ tobacco purchasing groups is significant, with green areas indicating higher food quality scores and grey and red showing lower quality scores, aggregated by the zip code of the grocery shopping location.
This study validated the group's data-driven grocery food quality scoring design as the findings reproduce results from other studies in the scientific literature showing that tobacco users have lower overall diet quality compared to people who do not use tobacco.