The bigger your supermarket, the bigger you are 23



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They say ‘you are what you eat’, but is it actually a case of ‘you are where you shop’?

New research has shown that while we’re piling food into our trolleys, we could be piling on the weight – and larger supermarkets could be to blame.

While us shoppers love the convenience of having a big, one-stop shop, two recent studies have examined the link between how often we go shopping and the healthiness of the food we buy.

Evidence suggests supermarket size prompts us to shop less often and buy more on each trip. Could the sheer size of our shops be making us fat?

Forget Texas, in Australia we like everything big from our liquor superstores to Costco to shopping centres.

A recent study of eight countries found only New Zealand and the United States had bigger supermarkets than Australia, and those two countries also have a higher prevalence of obesity than Australia.

There was an almost-perfect connection between how big a country’s supermarkets were and the number of obese people in that country.

Shopping less often and buying less healthy foods on that shop, i.e. doing bulk runs, suggests store size is part of the issue. that and if we do larger shops but then run out between shops, we also can allow ourselves have more takeaways as a sort of reward.


Suggested ways to make the bulk shopping trip to a large centre a healthier one is to walk and catch public transport, use more local businesses, and have better presentation of healthier foods in supermarkets.

If you shop somewhere that offers you everything, consider making more frequent trips and planning healthy meals.


Tell us, do you find you gain more weight from buying in bulk? Or are you a more frequent shopper?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Supermarkets don’t make us fat it’s the choices we make, the foods we eat.
    I’ve put on a few kgs this year but only blame myself, I’ve been eating a bit of junk. My fault.

  2. I can’t blame the supermarkets for the weight I have put on, a slow metabolism and probably over eating out of boredom is my problem

  3. I agree with Anne Gilbert and Libbi Elliot, we are what we eat , we are to blame for what we put in our mouths

    1 REPLY
    • What about meds that put weight on like insulin and antidepressants. Sick of people say you are what you eat. I had gastric surgery done for weight loss and when I went back onto some meds my weight climbed up. I have now been told I have to have gastric bypass surgery now.

  4. Who pays for these stupid surveys? Some illnesses and medications make us put on weight too. If healthy, we are what we eat. Take a look at our supermarkets. At end of most aisles are chocolate, biscuits, potato chips etc.all put there to entice us. Ideally we should only buy what we need not what we feel like nibbling on, says me who doesn’t always.

    1 REPLY
  5. Sounds silly to me – I see many slim people in big supermarkets and no they are not filing their trolleys with crap food items either – so that survey research whatever seems flawed. and to buy in bulk from ie Cosco one has to have a spear room to store the stuff…..

  6. I actually hate that saying because as my doctor has instilled in me illnesses and medications cause weight gain…..

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