A new study has found that Americans are buying junk food primarily from grocery stores and supermarkets. The findings challenge the previously held belief that many Americans buy junk food due to scarcity of grocery stores in their neighborhood and limited access to healthy food. In reality, despite having access to healthy food options, Americans are still opting for junk food.
Study leader Ruopeng An said, “More than half of the sugar-sweetened beverages and two-thirds of discretionary [junk] foods are purchased in supermarkets and grocery stores. Supermarket purchases of these items are about two to four times as large as all the other sources – fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, convenience stores, vending machines, and other locations – combined.”
Based on the data from over 4,200 adults, the researchers found that 46 percent of their subjects drank sugary beverages and nearly 89 percent ate junk food, including cookies, pastries, and ice cream.
On average, sugary beverages add 213 calories a day to one’s diet and junk food adds extra 439 calories.
An added, “It is true that supermarkets also are the largest source of healthy food. But we can’t be naive and think that people only purchase healthy food from supermarkets. We don’t see from our data that the presence of a supermarket has a preventive effect on people’s obesity or their junk-food intake.”