Monday, May 24, 2010

“Deep down, obesity is really an economic issue”

A study in Seattle compared BMI of shoppers at different food stores and concludes that people who shop at pricier grocery markets tend to be thinner. Since wealthier people tend to be thinner, this is not surprising (hence the duh-study tag), but it does call into question just how helpful programs aimed at educating children about nutrition will be for reducing obesity rates. Not that I'm against educating the nations' children about nutrition, it's about time, but it needs to be combined with programs that put daily physical activity back into schools and address some of the subsidization programs that make unhealthy foods so much cheaper than healthier food.

Here's the msnbc article about the study, and below is a chart from the article:

Supermarket obesity rates
Seattle researchers ranked supermarkets according to the obesity rates of their shoppers at these Northwest and national grocery stores. A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher indicated obesity.

— Whole Foods Markets: 4 percent
— Metropolitan Market: 8 percent
— Puget Consumers Cooperative (PCC): 12 percent
— Quality Food Centers (QFC): 17 percent
— Fred Meyer: 22 percent
— Safeway: 24 percent
— Albertsons: 38 percent
Source: University of Washington

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