Comparison of the Availability and Cost of Foods Compatible With a Renal Diet Versus an Unrestricted Diet Using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey

Published:March 07, 2017DOI:


      Hemodialysis patients' ability to access food that is both compatible with a renal diet and affordable is affected by the local food environment. Comparisons of the availability and cost of food items suitable for the renal diet versus a typical unrestricted diet were completed using the standard Nutrition Environment Measures Survey and a renal diet–modified Nutrition Environment Measures Survey.


      Cross-sectional study.


      Twelve grocery stores in Northeast Ohio.

      Main Outcome Measure

      Availability and cost of food items in 12 categories.


      The mean total number of food items available differed significantly (P ≤ .001) between the unrestricted diet (38.9 ± 4.5) and renal diet (32.2 ± 4.7). The mean total cost per serving did not differ significantly (P = 0.48) between the unrestricted diet ($5.67 ± 2.50) and renal diet ($5.76 ± 2.74).


      The availability of renal diet food items is significantly less than that of unrestricted diet food items, but there is no difference in the cost of items that are available in grocery stores. Further work is needed to determine how to improve the food environment for patients with chronic diseases.
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