Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title





School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for People, Place and Planet / Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute




Schumacher, T. L., Alderton, C. A., Brown, L. J., Heaney, S., Alston, L., Kent, K., & Godrich, S. L. (2023). Development of a scoring tool for Australian rural food retail environments. Nutrients, 15(21), article 4660.


Current tools scoring the healthiness of food retail outlets do not reflect outlets found in rural locations. This study aimed to adapt pre-existing Australian scoring tools to represent non-metropolitan areas. Rural nutrition experts were identified, and a modified Delphi technique was used to adapt two pre-existing, food-scoring tools in five iterative stages. Stages included identifying all relevant outlets, providing a description and score for each, ensuring consistency between outlet scores and pre-existing, metro-centric tools, and providing instructions for correct use. Six rural nutrition experts were identified and engaged in the modified Delphi technique. The final tool consisted of 12 categories of food outlets and listed 35 individual outlets. Consistent with pre-existing Australian tools, scores ranged from +10 to −10 and included descriptions reflective of rural retail outlets. Scores were based on whether the majority of foods offered within the outlet were consistent with foods recommended in national health guidelines. The developed tool was designed to accommodate the diverse nature of food retail outlets found in non-metropolitan areas. This study assists in explaining the link between the food environment and health in populations living rurally.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.