Fighting Supermarket Junk Food: How to Leave With a Healthy Trolley

by The Health Sciences Academy — Get free science updates here.

March over seventeen aisles and head back two rows and you’ll find your most used items: yogurt, eggs, and fish.

Why all the way back there anyway?

Those items are not just inadvertently placed deep in and down. They’re strategically placed to help you buy more than you need.

Gee, thanks for that “help”.

Look, it’s not like you’ve never been in a supermarket before. Maybe you don’t even notice the end result of millions invested in product placement. But you’ve got to face it: you are about to be bombarded with a ridiculous amount of unintentional choices. They have done their job very well in disguising the evil path set up for you to travel.

The good news? You can outfit yourself with your own game plan so you’ll be able to steer clear of unplanned purchases of fat, sugar, and bulky junk. The very items that are fattening us beyond belief. You can avoid supermarket junk food!

Beating supermarket junk food temptation

The well-esteemed publication, the New England Journal of Medicine, expressed their position that the supermarkets deliberately position unhealthy food items at a place of most susceptibility to buying them.

Equipped with that fact, you must educate yourself and execute a plan or else you’ll fall victim again and again. As a regular consumer, understanding the psychology of the supermarket is one of the most educated things you can do for yourself.

Go through those doors and emerge victorious with some basic understanding of how supermarkets deliberately hypnotise you to follow along.

Read these five basics. Study yourself and the store on your next visit. Then practise them on all your subsequent visits.

1. Always know what you need

When you enter the supermarket, get the blinkers on.

If you have a list, this is best. Get those items and stay away from sinister calories wrapped up in the cute little packet of conveniences.

And all that walking you’re doing covering lots of supermarket real estate? Treat this as a positive push for your activity levels. As long as you avoid the pitfalls and subliminal traps you can turn the supermarket traipsing into salubrious super steps and emerge victorious. Thank you supermarket!

2. Don’t shop hungry

Shopping hungry is one of the easiest ways to add so much crap to your trolley that you never needed.

You’re already walking into a secretly coded structure where you’ll be challenged every step of the way. You know how it is when you’re hungry. Everything looks good and is a must have right now.

Going in hungry is a sure way to go up calorie hill with a costly bill. Always make it a rule that you will not even consider your trip unless you have fed yourself something.

3. Tune in, zone out

Zone out from the over stimulation and subliminal set up by tuning into your favourite music.

If you get to choose the music that’s playing in your ears you’re more apt to stay on target for yourself. Just like the store structure is set up to trick you, so is the music keyed to either hype you up or slow you down to buy more. Don’t be a melody pushover. Choose your tunes and notice your trolley stay steady.

4. Be aware of bulk

Bulk items mean over ambitiousness, overbuying and overeating.

Consumables like kitchen rolls, tissues, and loo rolls are fine as you won’t consume calories with these items. But watch out for the 10 pack of crisps, ‘fun size’ snack packs and so on. These will get you in trouble the moment you throw them in your trolley.

Put them back. Get one or two at the most.

5. Ignore end caps

The end caps are eager to entice your eye. They generate 30% of supermarket sales.

These items generate the most impulse buys and are frequently loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Pay mind to that and choose wisely.

Heads up (and down): if you’re looking for the most healthy choices, you won’t find them at eye level. This may require looking beyond your sight line by bending, reaching, and retrieving your items. It’s well worth it. And by golly, look at all that movement you snuck in.


Supermarkets literally feed into bad habits that we’ve grooved for ourselves. Quite often, food choices are made unconsciously. We’re not even paying attention to what we’re doing. They’ve got our number and impulse marketing is their game. You can play back by paying attention and becoming aware.

And every time you play you get better. Take every opportunity to sharpen your supermarket skills so you can come out a winner every time.

Bear in mind that the supermarkets are not going to help you conquer your quest for health and wellness. Profit rules. The layout of the store aims for you to follow the subliminal signs and pick from the high fat, high sugar end caps best sellers. Don’t do that anymore.

You have new information now.

Next time you go shopping, just take notice. Appreciate the clever design. And then chuckle quietly under your breath as you promptly put your counter plan to work and emerge victorious.

I’m sure you know a handful (or a lot!) of people who would benefit from reading our supermarket-conquering tips. Please take a moment to forward this post to a friend most in need, or share it with your followers and friends!

Science Reports:

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