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04/04/2022

Kroger Health’s ‘Food as Medicine’ platform recognized by University of Cincinnati study

The ‘Supermarket and Web-based Intervention targeting Nutrition’ study validates the positive impact of retail-based dietary interventions.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Kroger Health, the healthcare division of retailer Kroger, worked with the University of Cincinnati to execute an independent clinical research study to learn how retailers serve as an important healthcare destination by leveraging food and nutrition education to support the health and well-being of shoppers.

The study, "Supermarket and Web-based Intervention targeting Nutrition," or SuperWIN, was a groundbreaking, randomized, controlled trial aimed at increasing diet quality and decreasing cardiovascular risk by promoting a heart-healthy diet through nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian, the company said. 

"We have always believed in the power of food as medicine in managing and preventing disease before it starts," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "The SuperWIN study provides real world evidence that our dietitians can help customers eat better and live healthier lives through use of technology, education and shopping tools."

[Read more: Kroger adds fulfillment center in Ohio]

The study's results were announced at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session & Expo on April 3, 2022, in Washington, D.C., and include: 

  • In-aisle teaching with a Kroger Health registered dietitian significantly increased adherence to a heart healthy dietary pattern compared to traditional nutrition counseling alone. Adherence was further improved when in-aisle teaching was paired with education on how to use online shopping technologies, including grocery delivery service, the Kroger app and website, and OptUP, Kroger Health's industry-leading nutrition rating system to simplify and track healthier shopping; and
  • Retailers like Kroger serve as an important healthcare destination, aligning with recently surveyed consumers who identified their primary food stores (48%) as institutions helping them stay healthy.

"SuperWIN is probably the most scientifically rigorous study of a comprehensive healthcare intervention ever conducted with the retail industry," said Dylan Steen of the division of cardiovascular health and disease at the UC College of Medicine. "In terms of purchasing data, retailers have been collecting these data for decades. These data are now progressively being linked to nutrition information and thus could be used by dietitians, nurses, pharmacists and physicians to provide the best, individualized guidance to patients."

"Kroger Health is proud of our partnership with the University of Cincinnati and the SuperWIN trial," Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition at Kroger Health, said. "We are striving every day to elevate the grocery store as a destination for preventive health care. Our food as medicine strategy is a dedicated, educated and personalized approach to eating and enjoying food to prevent illness before it starts, and this study has shown that our strategy works."

[Read more: Kroger looking to fill 20K positions]

The SuperWIN trial is the latest evidence supporting Kroger's food as medicine platform and the value of registered dietitians, the nation's foremost experts in nutrition, providing the public with evidence-based nutrition care, the company said. Kroger has since expanded access to nutrition care through its telenutrition program, offering two-way video chat appointments with Kroger Health registered dietitians across the country.

To download the SuperWIN report, visit here.

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