Helping Shoppers Find Good Health

Articles
April 12, 2010

Helping Shoppers Find Good Health

Good nutrition starts with healthy choices at the supermarket, but often food shopping can be an overwhelming assault on the senses; purchases are influenced by the sights and smells, and sometimes based on emotion rather than clear logical thinking.

Good nutrition starts with healthy choices at the supermarket, but often food shopping can be an overwhelming assault on the senses; purchases are influenced by the sights and smells, and sometimes based on emotion rather than clear logical thinking. In order to help customers achieve optimal health, it’s important for supermarkets to assist in the healthy decision making process. SupermarketGuru recently caught up with Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University, known for her expertise in nutrition, weight management, lifestyle changes and savvy supermarket shopping.  
 
A lot of consumers might be under the impression that someone like Joan avoided the center store, known for rows and rows of ‘junk’ foods, and only shopped the periphery. But to the contrary, Joan finds use for just about every aisle in the market. So what’s her secret?
 
According to Blake, “The periphery is not all healthful foods. What about the bakery, deli and enticing takeout meals that are situated right next to the nutrient rich produce section in most market?…it’s much more than just shopping the perimeter. The inner store houses whole grains such as brown rice and hearty breads as well as beans and canned vegetables.” And who could forget the freezer section that according to her, “is genius, and probably the most underutilized section of the store for cheap and nutritious fruits and vegetables!”  
 
Blake warns that, “The supermarket is not the place to window shop, because emotion will probably take over, leading you towards unhealthy choices, and spending more money. Instead, shop with a mission. Use your grocery store’s circular as your shopping and weekly menu GPS.”  
 
In terms of what supermarkets can do to assist consumers in healthy eating, Blake suggests in store demonstrations, quick tips and recipe ideas on how to use sale items and those with related coupons. “The public are busy and confused,” says Joan, “but they are certainly not unmotivated.”