In-store counseling yields significant results
Wouldn’t it be great to have a personal shopper at the grocery store that is an expert in nutrition? Someone that can knowledgeably answer product questions and suggest foods that help support your health goals—from living gluten-free to losing weight or getting your blood sugar in check? That wish is being granted in more and more grocery store retailers like ShopRite, HyVee, Kroger and others that are hiring dietitians as part of consumer health programming – some even offering consultations in-store.
A recent study contributes to growing evidence finding that grocery store nutrition programs are a convenient and effective way to help participants make healthier choices. A total of thirty people, 18-60 years old participated in 3 DASH focused nutrition counseling sessions with a registered dietitian. One initial and two follow up visits were scheduled at a local grocery store over 12 weeks. Basic anthropometrics (height, weight and BMI) and an extensive food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) were collected before the first and after the last visit.
When comparing food choices before and after interventions, researchers found significant improvement in healthy food choices such as increased total fruit, whole fruit, greens, beans and whole grains. They also observed a significant decline in purchase foods rich in sodium, saturated fat, added sugars and total fat. Investigators attribute this success to the convenience of having nutrition counseling within the aisles where food choices are being made – eliminating the need to remember advice communicated in an office or hospital setting. To find out if your local grocery store provides these services, visit their website or ask at the customer service desk.