Going To The Grocery? Making A List Will Help You Make Better Choices.

A-Beginner’s-Shopping-List-e1336389314391Americans are increasingly shopping from places other than grocery stores — like warehouse clubs and convenience stores — and have been purchasing unhealthier foods, according to a new study.

According to Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, chair of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, “The typical supermarket these days is carefully engineered so that they are constantly tempting customers to make impulse purchases and unwise food choices (e.g. placing candies at the checkout.) Having a plan and sticking to it is a good start to pre-committing yourself to a healthy purchase pattern.”

Researchers surveyed more than 1,300 mostly overweight and obese residents in two poor, primarily African American communities and found that shoppers who regularly made grocery lists also made higher quality food choices and had lower body weights.

Grocery store chains consistently had the lowest caloric profiles and had better nutrient densities. Convenience stores had the food with the most sugar — more than 35% of all calories purchased there came from gum and candy — and warehouse clubs had the most sodium.