Why Grocery Stores are Making Us Fat

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

When you walk into the grocery store do you ever notice how each one is created the same? The milk, meat and eggs are in the back corner, flowers at the front, candy at the checkout, produce at the start and all the processed foods you can think of in between.

As you start off your grocery shopping adventure, you'll notice the produce is where it all begins. Of course, this is where you want to purchase almost all of your food to ensure you're leading a healthy lifestyle. But little did you know that by beautifully displaying those bright colored fruits and vegetables actually creates a 'strong psychological impression on you'. After picking out your produce you'll pursue the aisles with a happy hop in your step, as produce is placed at the start of your journey to ensure you'll continue to fill up your cart.

Of course you've probably already guessed this, but throughout the aisles is where foods with little nutritional value are found. Grocery stores, amongst other things, are adding to our waistline because of the bright lights, sweet smells and rows upon rows of high calorie foods. Next time really stand there in the cereal, cookies, or crackers aisles and see how even the very best double chocolate chip cookies are strategically placed on the shelves. Of course the ones with extra sugar or fat taste the best, and are most likely the most famous brand, so they're at eye level. Did you know that companies actually pay more if their shelf space is at eye level?

Not only does it matter where things are placed on the shelf, but in reading "Stuffed, An Insider's Look at Who's (Really) Making America Fat" by Hank Cardello and Doug Garr, I found that grocery stores even cater towards our needs. The authors go on a grocery store journey through America. In one, they noticed on one-side boxes and boxes of high calorie cereal for kids were right across from the slimming drink for adults. This shows how stores know that one day those kids that are buying those sugary cereals today, will need to purchase the slimming drinks, just as their parents are today, too. So as you walk through the aisles, steer clear from those processed foods, or better yet, don't even walk through the aisles unless you're low on oatmeal, rice pasta or whole grain rice!

One of the most noteworthy things in a grocery store for many people is the bakery. If you'll notice it's at the very back of the store. One of the sneaky things here, is that even if you don't buy anything in the bakery section, the sweet, freshly baked bread smells will entice you to purchase more goods than you need.

Each and every grocery store slyly places the milk, butter, eggs and meat at the back. Why you many ask? Oh, well it's just their sneaky way to ensure you walk through each and every aisle, purchase as many things as you do, or don't need, and finally make it to the few items that were actually on your list. It's about getting the maximum product exposure and ensuring you come out with a full cart.

If you're one who wants to work on shedding a few pounds for summer, then follow Dr. Oz's 'Roadmap To The Grocery Store'. In using this roadmap, you'll purchase the freshest foods money can buy, and you won't succumb to the grip the processed foods and sweet smells your grocery store has in store for you. One of the easiest ways to ensure that grocery stores don't continue to make us 'fat' is to shop along the perimeter of the store. By doing this, you won't be tempted by all the processed foods found throughout the sly aisles.

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids.

Photo: I-5 Design & Manufacture 

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