Don’t Get Trapped by Unhealthy Decisions at the Grocery Store

healthy foods

When shopping at the grocery store, do you stick to your list or are you easily swayed by displays promoting foods that may be quick to prepare but lack good nutrition?

Several recent research studies provide insight on how shoppers can avoid getting trapped by unhealthy purchase decisions at the grocery store.


Subtle Cues May Encourage Purchases of Healthy Foods
One study from Utrecht University in The Netherlands demonstrates that subtle cues at the grocery store may help obese shoppers avoid purchasing unhealthy foods. In this study of nearly 100 shoppers, two different recipe flyers were given to obese shoppers. One used words that promoted food choices that were “healthy” or “good for your figure,” while the other encouraged shoppers to try out a new recipe. Researchers reported that those shoppers receiving the flyer emphasizing healthy messages spent less on unhealthy snacks. They concluded that messages promoting unhealthy or junk foods should be controlled, and advertising these products to children should be restricted.

Avoid Shopping When Hungry
A study conducted at Cornell University discovered that shoppers who are hungry when they stopped by the grocery store tended to buy more foods than expected, and many of these items were processed junk foods. Researchers suggested that these unhealthy foods probably affected shoppers’ meal choices for several days.

Sleep-Deprived Shoppers Purchase More Unhealthy Foods
Research conducted at Uppsala University in Sweden indicated that shoppers who had less than six hours of sleep tended to make more impulse purchases at the grocery store. This study supported research from the University of California at Berkeley, which identified that sleep deprivation tends to make shoppers feel hungrier and crave more fattening foods.