Are you saying, “well…duh?!”
Or do you, on the other hand, find the title of this article to be harsh?
Well, that is how I feel about the checkout aisle in my local grocery store. Harsh.
These aisles are harsh on the waistline, no matter how delicious those tasty treats are! Why do you think they have separate children’s only aisles now that feature granola bars and fruit? If you don’t want your child eating it, you shouldn’t be eating it either!
While these aisles targeted for parents with small children that beg for candy are a step in the right direction, we shouldn’t be stocking fatty products there at all, according to studies.
Checkout aisles stock those junk food products for a reason. You’ve probably spent the last hour of your life zipping from aisle to aisle, corralling your kids, throwing items in your cart, and working up a hunger. What can be easier to splurge on but a candy bar or a bag of chips? While these products may seem small in their size, they certainly pack a wallop of calories into your diet.
Junk food aisles increase obesity; there is no question about it. While there is a whole aisle of cookies and candies, many people interestingly don’t buy from that aisle; instead, they grab a candy bar without thinking during checkout. Because when they’re in a whole aisle of sweets, they can ‘talk themselves down,’ remembering their diet, how they know they’ll eat those products if kept around the house, and how regretful those binges can be. They have time to consider the options, weigh them, and make the right decision. Keeping a bag of candy around the house may be an obviously bad decision for someone on a diet, but grabbing ‘just one’ candy bar on the way out of the grocery store that you probably eat in the car on the way home is a reward, right?
The checkout aisle is where you make purchases on impulse, without thinking. Usually, shoppers are distracted or overwhelmed, worn out from shopping, often even a bit hungry. It’s EASY. You’re not going to struggle with that internal argument or debate with yourself on the number of calories vs. how hard you’ll have to try to work them off. You’re in a hurry, don’t have time or energy to think, and throw a candy bar on the checkout counter.
Most people who make these impulse purchases acknowledge later that they didn’t even want that candy bar, and it wasn’t even reflective of their diet or eating habits. But it is still so easy to splurge!
While it may be a nightmare to people who are trying to lose weight, to a company it is a dream come true! They even pay more to stores where they can be placed at the checkout counters, almost like a subliminal message that you deserve a treat after all the hard work involved with shopping. Studies have proven items in checkout aisles can sell at up to a five times higher rate than items in the regular aisle they should be placed in throughout the grocery store! Obviously, put junk food in these checkout locations and bam! Pounds on the waistline. And an addicted buyer who will most likely buy another candy bar the next time they’re in the store.
It isn’t just candy bar companies who have taken stock in this idea, think about what you see in the checkout aisles. Chips, the salty snack that seems to be in individual size packaging. Sodas, in 16 ounce bottles, so that it’s easy to take one to go to sip on for your drive home.
Even non- food related products are taking up this expensive and valuable real estate. Expensive batteries that you aren’t quite sure if you need, but god forbid, your remote control runs low! Throw them in the cart. Gossip magazines! Sure, you need to know what drama Brittney Spears is involved in these days. Buying things on the way out of the grocery store almost always equates to purchasing things that you haven’t budgeted for. But somehow, they always happen to be just small enough for you to make diet excuses for, and just low enough in price to make it into your shopping cart without causing you to feel guilty about them due to price. See how sneaky these companies and grocers are! They’re quite simply pulling the wool over your eyes.
Regularly eating junk food causes obesity and disease. Because this is well known and studied in the United States, there are no legitimate reasoning behind allowing these products to be there, when we are our most vulnerable. But the power of the almighty dollar will always outweigh the public good.
Should the government limit the products for sale in the checkout aisle due to the increasing obesity epidemic? Not necessarily, because it is your own will power that will keep you from succumbing from the junk food in the junk food aisle. No one is forcing it down your throat, and you know it. It’s easy- simply make a decision to never, ever buy junk food from the checkout aisles. If you have a bad habit of doing so, make the commitment today to change that behavior. If you have a policy where you simply never do it, you won’t think twice while walking by these items, checking out, and grabbing a healthy snack when you get home.
While limiting what products are available in the checkout aisles may seem like an easy solution, you can bet there will be a fight if that is a proposed solution to the problem. Consider packing healthy snacks (and keep them with you) to avoid temptation.
While we can’t only blame checkout aisles, because you have to put the candy bar in your mouth to gain weight, you’d better believe that these kinds of impulse buys add the pounds to your hips. A very simple and easy to institute rule against junk food aisles is a great start to a commitment to lose weight, so start today!
What do you think? How do you say NO to the evil checkout aisles? Have you tried packing healthy snacks? Share your thoughts with us!