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Grocery Store Dietitians Improve Eating Habits

Expert advice helps people choose nutritious foods, research suggests.

If you have clients who struggle to stick with a healthy diet, consider encouraging them to have a dietitian tag along on their next trip down the cereal aisle.

That’s based on a study of adults being treated for hypertension, some of whom received three grocery-store-based counseling sessions from a registered dietitian over a 3-month span. Those who received the counseling tended to steer toward healthier diets with more fruit, greens and beans and less sodium, fats and added sugars, according to findings reported in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

The grocery store is ground zero for healthful food choices, so having a nutrition professional provide instant feedback and improve certain skills, like label reading, can be very useful. Clients can check online to see if their preferred supermarkets offer the services of an in-store dietitian.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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