As a nutritionist and health coach, being at the supermarket checkout watching people unload their contents onto the cash conveyor is like being at work for me; an observational dietary analysis.
I do not hold a particular interest for the shoppers carrying excessive calories both in their trollies and under their belt; I also watch healthy sized people’s choices on 'their' trolley contents too. My observations are for research and not judgmental.
I would estimate that overweight shoppers have around 20%-30% additional junk food in their trollies; food-stuff that just doesn’t need to be in there. Without considering the excessive bingers spending hundreds a week on snacks, soda, family pack crisps, ready meals, cereals, bread, biscuits etc (and who's trollies are around 90% junk), I would count that most is around £15-£20 per week lost on junk foods.
This brings me to part of the reason why this observational compulsion kicks-in, and that is.... how many people in my consultation room tell me that healthy eating is expensive!
You do not need to invest in South American rain forest berries or many of the ‘designer’ health food products pushed aside to the 'healthy options' isles (like it’s for a niche group). But don't ADD junk to your otherwise reasonably healthy basics.
What you can achieve financially, in exchange for a few packets of biscuits and crisps is get a sack of fresh fruit and veg!
Yes, I agree, a wild Alaskan salmon fillet will cost more than a pack of frozen ready-made burgers – but at least you know what’s going inside your body, and you can list the health benefits against the potential risks of eating nothing much more than floor sweepings.
Is the price of health food distorted in people’s minds?
I think so. Natural foods, like vegetables, fruits, fish, quality meats etc have always had a given price through the ages, and manufacturers of mass produced low-quality food-stuffs, wrapped in plastic, found a way of filling people up with sugar and unhealthy fats at a 'fraction' of food prices.
This empty nutrition fodder which some people call food has become so popular that it is now the benchmark of pricing, which makes real food ‘appear’ expensive in comparison.
So, if you really want to lose several £pounds a week eating junk food – keep adding it to your trolley!
(Saving £20 a week over the course of a year is just over £1,000.