Strategic food shopping — saving money on healthy food


By Ellen James Martin,

Washington News Service

Special to The PREVIEW

Calculated as a percentage of income, spending on groceries is declining in America. Yet, at the same time, restaurant tabs are up and obesity levels are rising, especially among people in their 40s and 50s.

Nutrition specialists say the two trends connect in a paradoxical way. Even as they spend less at the supermarket, Americans are grabbing more fast-food restaurant meals and the sort of snacks packed with empty calories sold at convenience stores and gas stations.

“We’ve hijacked our senses on junk foods. People are in a constant state of hunger. But in our quick, easy-fix culture, they aren’t addressing their hunger in healthy ways,” said Jamie Logie, a nutritionist and author of “The Strategic Grocery Shopping Guide” and other books on food.

In spite of massive federal spending to reduce obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( reports that obesity rates are still edging up. As of 2014 — the latest year for which data are available — 38 percent of American adults were obese. That compares with 35 percent the year before.

Logie said bad eating habits — which involve continual “grazing” on processed foods — are a major factor to blame for the obesity epidemic among adults.

“Someone who weighs 350 pounds can still be very hungry if they’re eating the wrong foods,” he said.

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