Is your Wal-Mart making you fat?
Researchers find that people are prone to gain weight after a supercenter opens nearby.
McDonald's often gets some blame when people jaw about the national obesity rate. Now new research by economists indicates that Wal-Mart is a factor in weight gain -- possibly because of low prices for unhealthful processed foods.
The study abstract says:
An additional Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3% points. These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s, but the resulting increase in medical expenditures offsets only a small portion of consumers' savings from shopping at Supercenters.
The study focused on the period between 1996 and 2005, when 1,569 supercenters opened their doors across the U.S.
The study doesn't suggest that we'll all end up using the motorized carts once a Wal-Mart supercenter opens nearby. It did find that "women, low-income families and people living in less densely populated areas" are most prone to pack on pounds after the supercenter arrives, The Gazette of Montreal reported. And that's after other possible causes were accounted for.
Why would this happen? After all, those supercenters provide a large supply of fresh fruits and vegetables and sell them at a competitive price.
In short, the cause is unknown. The study authors speculated that it could be the
other groceries Wal-Mart sells -- the processed foods that fill most of the shelves. Post continues after video.
Also: "It's not just about Wal-Mart underselling the competitor. It's about the competitors cutting their prices in response to competition from Wal-Mart," University of North Carolina economist Charles Courtemanche, a co-author of the study, told The Gazette. "Someone might never step foot in a Wal-Mart, but they still might pay less for their food."
Maybe it's also the bigger selection of video games, which translates into less exercise.
Mother Nature Network blogger Siel Ju raised another possibility:
Many experts have said that having a Wal-Mart pop up in a community can force smaller mom-and-pop shops out of business because they can't compete on that scale -- thereby leading to less walkable neighborhoods and more driving. And most people would agree that if you eat cheap processed food while walking less and driving more, you're likely to get fat.
Obviously more research would need to be done to get to the bottom of this. But what do you think? Does access to cheaper food make people eat more? Do supermarket chains push unhealthful processed foods rather than the fresh foods that are better for us? Or are we guilty of bad choices and nutritional ignorance?
The researchers stressed that Wal-Mart should not be demonized. But what should we reasonably expect from big chains such as Wal-Mart and McDonald's?
The in-store plan involves taking unhealthy salts, saturated fats, trans fats and sugar out of Wal-Mart store-brand products under the Great Value and Sam's Choice labels. The retailer also has pledged to lower prices on fruits and vegetables.
Other food companies are expected to follow suit.
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It is so absurd to blame Wal-mart, and MacDonalds for people who make bad choices. There is constant education out there for excersice and healthy eating, there is no excuse, it is a personal choice. If you really are trying to save money, and compare the price of an apple; or any piece of fruit, to a bag of chips, the apple is cheaper, and healthier. So have an apple a day, instead of the darn chips.
Typical slant, blaming others, for what one has become. The "lazy" American is not lazy because their lazy, someone made them become lazy, someone "made" them fat. I live in Fayetteville, AR. the headquarters of Wal-Mart. Plenty of lean mean fighting machines around here. We are a college town with 32 miles of in town hiking / biking trails. If you want to get healthy, there is every way possible to become that way.
I do shop there on occasion, and find there produce running over the shelves, and the chips and dip are in the futherest corners of the grocery section, the produce is right up front, and it is reasonably priced, especially the in season stuff. This is typical "blame someone else" for my behavior junk, force fed us by "victimization media" which is prominent in today's fat and lazy society. Funny I've never been overweight in my entire life. Could it be I chose to be healthy?, instead of becoming a fat guy?
I live in Tucson, AZ. The nearest Walmart Supercenter is 15 miles away. The citizens of Tucson think they're too good for one. So let's see...That leaves Fry's, Food City, Albertson's & Safeway to blame for people around here being fat. Oh yes & Trader Joes & Sunflower. Our two "healthy" stores!
Let's not forget Coscto where they sell the muffins by the bajillions and give out samples of just about everything where people act like they've never eaten b4. That includes you "skinny" people. I saw people damn near attack an employee for chocolate milk samples! I think everyone has had chocolate milk @ one point or another in their life!
Leave Walmart alone & blame the person that's where the blame should be.
I'm fat. I'm fat because I'm lazy. I freely admit it to anyone who wants to ask why I'm fat.
I do shop at Wal-Mart for staples like brown rice, frozen veggies and usually bread and milk- because they have better prices. They have a better selection of ground turkey products (Perdue 99% fat free) than my local grocery store and the produce is priced better, BUT the quality of the produce is sometimes lacking...to the point of having to go to another store for that.
At the Wal-Mart I shop I can feed my family of three dinner for about $20.00 total. Chicken breast, frozen broccoli/cauliflower, baked potato and a salad (bagged salad mix) with cucumber and tomato.
It's not just us fata$$es that buy unhealthy products. It's not just the fatties that are unhealthy. I see plenty of people who one would assume healthy because of their size, consuming/purchasing ridiculous amounts of sodium/fat/sugar products.
People just don't care or don't think about it. It doesn't have anything to do with being uneducated or low income...it has to do with personal choice.
So pencils cause misspellings?
Driving a car causes them to speed, run red lights and run down pedestrians?
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