Whole Foods Has Skinnier Shoppers

This study, by researchers at the University of Washington, found that (in Seattle at least) Whole Foods shoppers are much less likely to be obese than their downmarket counterparts.

In the Seattle area, a region with an average obesity rate of about 20 percent, only about 4 percent of shoppers who filled their carts at Whole Foods Market stores were obese, compared with nearly 40 percent of shoppers at lower-priced Albertsons stores.

That’s likely because people willing to pay $6 for a pound of radicchio are more able to afford healthy diets than people stocking up on $1.88 packs of pizza rolls to feed their kids, the study’s lead author suggested.


I bet you'd see the same trend in clothing stores: Customers at the more upmarket places would have higher lower rates of obesity. That's because there are a lot of factors that make it easier for wealthy people to be healthy and vice versa: education and culture, available restaurant options, money and time for gym or sports league memberships. Which of these are the most important is an open question.

Via Jamelle Bouie

Image: Whole Foods Market in the East Village of New York, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shankbone's photostream