Houghtaling, B.; Englund, T.; Chen, S.; Pradhananga, N.; Kraak, V.I.; Serrano, E.; Harden, S.M.; Davis, G.C.; Misyak, S.
Background: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supports Americans with lower income to purchase dietary products at authorized retailers. This research aimed to evaluate SNAP-authorized retailers’ public commitments in support of nutrition security and to examine differences between traditional grocers and nontraditional (e.g., convenience, drug, dollar) SNAP-authorized retailers’ public commitments. Methods: Prominent United States (U.S.) SNAP-authorized retailers nationally and in two U.S. states (California and Virginia) were identified based on number of store locations (n = 61). Public information available in grey literature were reviewed and scored using the Business Impact Assessment for Obesity and population-level nutrition (BIA-Obesity) tool. SNAP-authorized retailers were classified as traditional (e.g., grocery) or nontraditional (e.g., non-grocery) retailers. Total BIA-Obesity from 0 to 615, representing low to optimal support) and category scores were calculated for corporate strategy, relationships with external organizations, product formulation, nutrition labeling, product and brand promotion, and product accessibility. Descriptive statistics were used to describe BIA-Obesity scores overall and by category. Mann–Whitney U was used to test for potential differences in median BIA-Obesity total scores between traditional and nontraditional SNAP-authorized retailers (a priori, p < 0.05). Results: Average total BIA-Obesity scores for SNAP-authorized retailers ranged from 0 to 112 (16.5 ± 23.3). Total BIA-Obesity scores for traditional SNAP-authorized retailers (32.7 ± 33.6; median 25) were higher than nontraditional SNAP-authorized retailer scores (11.2 ± 16; median 5) (p = 0.008). For BIA-Obesity categories, average scores were highest for the category relationships with external organizations (8.3 ± 10.3) and lowest for promotion practices (0.6 ± 2.1). Conclusions: Results of this research underscore a dearth of available evidence and substantial opportunity for improvement regarding SNAP-authorized retailer strategies to support nutrition security among Americans with lower income. © 2022, The Author(s).