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New research suggests removing sweets from grocery store checkout aisles reduces unhealthy snack purchases

It’s happened to just about everyone: you’re in line at the grocery store and the rows of colorful sweets are staring you in the face, resulting in the addition of a few unhealthy snacks to your cart. New research from the University of Cambridge suggests removing these snacks from grocery and retail store checkout lines reduces the purchase of such products, something that contributes to weight loss and overall better health. Take a moment to learn about this study as part of your Phentermine 37.5 mg-fueled healthy lifestyle regimen. The study was published in PLOS Medicine.

It Started In The UK

Supermarkets throughout the UK have reduced the number of unhealthy snacks in their checkout aisles over the last decade.

“Many snacks picked up at the checkout may be unplanned, impulse buys — and the options tend to be confectionary, chocolate or crisps [potato chips],” says Dr. Jean Adams from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge. “Several supermarkets have now introduced policies to remove these items from their checkouts, and we wanted to know if this had any impact on people’s purchasing choices.”

A Hot New Trend?

Researchers analyzed data from the Kantar Worldpanel’s Consumer panel for food, beverages and household products. Six out of the nine major supermarkets they studied implemented checkout food policies between 2013 and 2017.

“Our findings suggest that by removing sweets and crisps from the checkout, supermarkets can have a positive influence on the types of purchases their shoppers make,” said study author Dr. Katrine Ejlerskov. “This would be a relatively simple intervention with the potential to encourage healthier eating. Many of these purchases may have been impulse buys, so if the shopper doesn’t pick up a chocolate bar at the till, it may be one less chocolate bar that they consume.”

“It may seem obvious that removing unhealthy food options from the checkout would reduce the amount that people buy, but it is evidence such as this that helps build the case for government interventions to improve unhealthy behaviors,” noted Dr. Adams.

“One such intervention might be to introduce nutritional standards for checkout food as suggested in the Government’s recent Childhood Obesity Plan. Such a government-led policy might prove attractive to supermarkets as it would provide a level playing field across the sector.”
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