Fat People Don’t Shop at Whole Foods

Here’s an interesting one. To quote from the article:

The percentage of food shoppers who are obese is almost 10 times higher at low-cost grocery stores compared with upscale markets, a small new study shows.

Researchers say the striking findings underscore poverty as a key factor in America’s growing girth.

In the Seattle area, a region with an average obesity rate of about 20 percent, only about 4 percent of shoppers who filled their carts at Whole Foods Market stores were obese, compared with nearly 40 percent of shoppers at lower-priced Albertsons stores.

That’s likely because people willing to pay $6 for a pound of radicchio are more able to afford healthy diets than people stocking up on $1.88 packs of pizza rolls to feed their kids, the study’s lead author suggested.

Now – people from Seattle might not be like the rest of us. It was also reported that people in Seattle have the most sex outdoors, so perhaps there’s something about Seattle that causes this phenomenon rather than just shopping at Whole Foods.

I personally have a love/hate relationship with Whole Foods. While I think they’re price-gouging bastards, I do find foods there – like grass-fed beef – that I’d be hard-pressed to find in the local supermarkets.

But I have also noticed that there are none of those little scooters at the entrance for the morbidly obese to ride the aisles and purchase their Mary Janes.

I’m not making that up. I was in my local supermarket looking for my low carb Lindt chocolate when a very sweet and very fat lady rolled up in her electric scooter and excused herself as she reached over to get the Mary Janes she was looking for.

It broke my heart.

It’s none of my business what she eats, but when I see the morbidly obese I see what might have been for me – and what will be if I ever stop living a low carb lifestyle.

The article goes on to say it’s more a matter of poverty – cheap calories are bad calories – but I’m not so sure. A bag of potato chips or Chex Mix can run close to $4 in my area – that pound of grass-fed beef cost $5.99.

Which is the better value: a few heavily salted, thinly sliced, deep-fried potatoes in a large bag puffed with air or a pound of grass-fed beef?

Maybe its poverty and education that are to blame.


7 thoughts on “Fat People Don’t Shop at Whole Foods

  1. It’s poverty, education, personal preference, AND the food environment. The food environment is the result of government policy which is formulated by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an arm of the United States Department of Agriculture. That agency keeps furnishing Americans with terrible dietary advice. It’s not going to get any better either. On June 15 the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued their report. Note this commentary from the Weston A Price Foundation: http://www.westonaprice.org/abcs-of-nutrition/1950-comments-on-the-usda-dietary-guidelines.html

  2. Hi. This is the second post in a row that my blood pressure just raised. I can’t believe that they would suggest that eating at whole foods would make your thinner. Whole foods targets itself at the uber trendy market who are typically white and well off. This group also tends to be thinner than the average population. Nothing to do with food. Damn I just got it. Im gonna stop dieting because obviously I just need to become uber trendy and I will then be thin. Because far less fat people are uber trendy. Makes sense….right!

    1. Exactly what I was going to say. It’s not the FOOD at Whole Foods that makes people thinner. They’re thinner to begin with in conjunction with their class status.

    2. Hi Dan,

      Agreed, but I don’t read anywhere int the article I wrote or the article I quoted where it implies that people who shop at Whole Foods will lose weight. Though the people at Whole Foods might like you to think that, it’s certainly not the case.


  3. Stop subsidizing corn and dis-incentivize Big Ag and Big Food from taking food and turning it into cheap food-like substances that people develop a chemical dependence on.

    Dis-incentivize the go-go lunchtime fast food mentality. Give them comfortable and convenient spaces to prepare more natural foods and time to enjoy them and you will see people eating brown rice and veggie/grass-fed beef stir fry instead of making a run for the border and eating “food” that comes in cardboard/styrofoam.

    I second David Brown’s comment that it’s the toxic food environment!

  4. I think it is culture and choice more than “social status” or “poverty”. There are tons of healthy foods in the “cheaper” grocery stores. Growing up in poverty, in rural Oklahoma, where “southern” or “country” cooking is taught throughout generations proves it. I left at 17 y/o – joined the Navy – and learned to bake instead of fry, learned to eat vegetable whole and fresh instead of boiled or floating in bacon grease. During a recent visit, I noticed that all of my siblings are following the same path to heart disease as the rest of the 90% who live there. My conversation about a healthier lifestyle or less junk food gains me a look like I’m an alien. They choose the type of food & cooking style they have……….Loved the article and the debate!!!

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