Don't shop when hungry

w/photo assigned and pullout below Shopping while hungry will cost your figure By
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


w/photo assigned and pullout below

Shopping while hungry will cost your figure



Stay home.

Research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows shoppers buy almost 50 percent more when they go to the store on an empty stomach.

"Shopping while hungry should be outlawed," said Fremont-based nutritionist Al Zedea. "We spend more money and buy more calories in less time than we would on a full stomach."

Zedea said if shoppers head to the store hungry, looking for a loaf of bread, they may end up walking out with the entire bakery section.

"When we're hungry, that's all we can think about," he said. "Our brains go directly toward the brightly colored boxes detailed to perfection and over to the bakery where foods can be smelled, tasted and consumed."

Bringing children to the store?

Be on the lookout, research shows shopping with children makes people almost 30 percent more inclined to toss in the junk food.

"I've seen parents come in here, asking other associates where a few grocery items are," said Wal-mart employee Danielle Smith. "Their list is short, but by time they reach the checkout line, I'm ringing Up Haagen Dazs, Chips Ahoy and Sara Lee. In my experience, working at a grocery store, people with kids are the ones huffing and puffing from pushing a cart full of nothing."

To help those who make frequent, hunger-driven shopping trips, U.S.-based technology company EDS is developing a shopping cart that will scan bar codes on food as they are piled into the cart.

The carts will supply shoppers with nutritional and ethical information about the products -- including price -- and will inform them when they have exceeded a certain caloric limit; when the cart contains too many saturated fats, carbohydrates or sodium, as well as keep a record of what was bought, past and present.

According to studies performed by EDS, 95 percent of consumers want this nutritional information.

"This has got to be a joke," said Sandusky resident Marla Devea. "Yeah, it sounds good, and people may use it, but after a few times, it's going to get old. I, myself would figure out how to shut it off."

"This is a very sensitive topic," Zedea said. "Many individuals will see the cart as being intrusive and like any normal person, get rid of the intruder."

Zedea said the best way to get in and out of a store is to make a list, estimate the amount spent on those items and only bring that amount in cash.

"A rule to live by is to never bring plastic, credit or debit into any store," he said. "If we run low on cash, we end up piling on the extra costs {on the credit}, mainly of stuff we don't need. If you only bring the amount of cash you need to the store, you're 20 times more likely to only walk out with what you need, not what you want."

Why shopping hungry is dangerous

* You're in a rush so you don't compare prices for the best value.

* You shop with your eyes and stomach instead of your list.

* You buy things you probably have no intention of cooking.

* You tend to ignore store brands because you know the brand ones taste better.

* You don't bother to look at the bottom or top shelves, but grab the products at eye level (grocery stores push their most expensive items at eye level.)

* You say YES to your children's sugar-infested "wants."

* You buy way too much junk/processed food because you want to eat FAST when you get home.

* The above does damage to your figure.

* It takes so long to ring up your groceries you end up browsing and throwing in a few extra things at the checkout counter like gum, batteries and tissues.

* You spend way too much money.

Tips to avoid hungry-driven shopping

* Always go with a list

* Plan out a weekly menu

* Don't go when you're hungry

* Have a budget

* Shop online

* Cut back on one-item trips

* Go when the kids are in school