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Is your favorite grocery store making you fat?

Assessing the reliability of a grocery retailer scorecard for healthy shopping

Cornell Food & Brand Lab

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IMAGE: These findings will be presented as a poster at the 2015 Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior conference on Sunday July 26th from 10-12. view more

Credit: Daniel Miller

Is your favorite grocery store making you fat? According to new research findings, a Grocer Retailer Scorecard may be an effective, healthy shopping tool that benefits both grocers and shoppers. "Grocers can benefit from encouraging healthy shopping practices because they can sell more perishable items like fruits and vegetables rather than tossing them in the dumpster after a few days," says lead researcher Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and author of the new book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, "The benefit to shoppers is obvious; healthier groceries result in healthier eating!"

Using principles of behavioral economics and psychology, Food and Brand Lab researchers identified 100 changes that grocers could employ to make it easier for shoppers to make healthier food selections used them to create a Grocery Retailer Scorecard. They then tested the scorecard in a large grocery store chain to see if it could be reliably used by shoppers to rate whether a grocery store is helping them to be healthy or heavy.

The researchers concluded that Grocer Retailer Scorecards can be a reliable way to rate how healthy a grocery store is. A person with no training can confidently use such scorecards to rate their favorite store to determine whether it makes it easier or harder for them to select and purchase healthy foods. The scorecards can also be used by the grocers themselves to make evidence based healthy changes to their stores that promote healthier purchases.

These findings will be presented as a poster at the 2015 Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior conference on Sunday July 26th from 10-12.

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