News In Brief

Study: The bigger the Wal-Mart, the fatter the shoppers

Jaclyn Giovis Jan 19, 2011

If your New Years resolution is to lose weight, you better hope a Walmart Supercenter doesn’t open up around the corner.

A recent study found that the more Walmart Supercenters the company opens, the heavier the people living nearby become. Researchers at the University of North Carolina and Rhodes College say the reasons for this are two-fold: the low cost of food at Walmart and the quality of the food sold there.

The Montreal Gazette reported on the study. Here’s what researcher Charles Courtemanche, an assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, had to say on the findings:

“I think the most obvious story is that Walmart lowers the price of foods and a lot of the foods it has big price advantages on are the processed, inner-aisle types of food that aren’t that good for you.”

Women, low-income families and people living in less densely populated areas are those most at risk of weight gain after a Walmart Supercenter moves into the neighborhood, the Gazette reported.

Walmart is the largest grocery store chain in the country. The company has 2,899 supercenters nationwide, and most are open 24 hours. But can you really blame them for your weight gain?

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