Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.47(5) > 1081355

J Nutr Health. 2014 Oct;47(5):351-363. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2014.
© 2014 The Korean Nutrition Society
Developing and testing the reliability of a measurement tool for an urban area food environment in Korea: Focusing on food stores
Mi Jin Jang,1 Sangah Shin,2 Seong-Ah Kim,2 Sangwon Chung,1 Hee Young Paik,3 Jeong-sook Choe,4 Eun Joo Hong,5 and Hyojee Joung1,2
1Department of Public Health Nutrition, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
2Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
3Department of Foods and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
4National Academy of Agricultural science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-707, Korea.
5Department of Economics & Finance, Hanyang Cyber University, Seoul 133-791, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: 82-2-880-2716, Email:
Received June 23, 2014; Revised August 01, 2014; Accepted September 29, 2014.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The aim of this study was to develop a reliable measurement tool to assess the urban food environment, particularly focusing on food stores in Korea.


The items for the measurement tool were selected through systematic literature reviews and adjusted to the Korean food environment. A total of 25 food stores in an urban area were recruited for the pilot test to evaluate the time required for completion of the survey, ease of response, willingness to participate, difficulties in conducting the survey, and appropriateness, and 34 food stores were recruited for assessment of the reliability of the tool using percent agreement and kappa value.


The measurement tool is composed of questions regarding food store characteristics, accessibility, and food availability. On average, 26 minutes was required to survey a single food store, and the subjects and interviewers answered that the process was not difficult for the survey. The percent agreement for the inter-rater and test-retest reliability ranged from 93.9~98.8% and 91.9~97.9, respectively. The kappa values ranged from 0.78 to 0.97, which was very high. Percent agreement and kappa value of food with healthy option were lower than those of the general food in the inter-rater reliability (p = 0.0027, p = 0.0095 respectively) as well as in the test-retest reliability (p = 0.0081, p = 0.0290, respectively), although they were still high enough (86.4~98.0% for percent agreement, 0.64~0.96 for kappa value).


The newly developed measurement tool for assessment of food store environment appears to be feasible and reliable; therefore, it can be applied to research on the association between food environment and dietary behaviors as well as health outcomes.

Keywords: food environment; food stores; measurement tool; feasibility; reliability


Fig. 1
Study flow for developing a food environment measurement tool.
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Table 1
Composition of the measurement tool for food store
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Table 2
The measurement items for food availability
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Table 3
The food specified for healthy option items
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Table 4
Characteristics of food stores participated in the pilot and reliability test
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Table 5
The easiness to respond for measurement tool among the subjects who answered the question (N = 13)
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Table 6
Reliability of measurement tool for food availability in the food store
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Table 7
Reliability of inter-rater and test-retest for general food and food with healthy option
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This work was supported by grants from Rural Development Administration (Project number: PJ008995).

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