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Taming Temptation at Grocery Stores

Berkeley bans junk food at the grocery checkout.

Grocery temptations

Soon consumers in a California city will face less chocolate-bar temptation before bagging their groceries. An ordinance passed by Berkeley City Council will put a halt to displaying nutritional duds by the checkout registers at grocery stores.

The healthy checkout policy, expected to go into effect in March 2021, applies to stores larger than 2,500 square feet and includes foods with 5 grams or more of added sugars or 200 milligrams or more of sodium per serving. Lumped in here are beverages with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. (Brands pay for placement in this prime real estate.)

Because every shopper must spend time in the checkout aisle and it’s here where impulse buying is likely to occur, passage of the “Healthy Checkout Ordinance” could mean people are more likely to come home with fruit than fruit gummies.

See also: Choosing a More Nutritious Grocery Store


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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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