Food for Cities news January, 2014

Most Supermarket Coupons Promote Junk Food, Sugary Drinks: Study

A new study titled “Most Supermarket Coupons Pile on Saving Junk Food, Sugary Drinks” published in the journal “Preventing Chronic Disease” suggests that clipping coupons to trim the food budget might be bad for health. The author of the study is Dr. Hilary Seligman, assistant professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco, and School of Medicine. He shared that when the price of food is lowered, people buy more of them. The expert showed – Processed snack foods, such as chips, crackers and desserts, made up the largest slice of the coupon pie (25 percent).  In the meantime 14 percent of coupons were for frozen dinners and other prepared meals; 12 percent were for beverages (half of which were for sugary juices and drinks); 10 percent were for condiments, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise; and 8 percent plied customers with discounts on processed meats, such as bacon and hot dogs. On the other hand only 3 percent of coupons lowered the costs of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. Only 1 percent trimmed the price of unprocessed meats. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University also commented on the coupons of healthy foods. Actually the shopkeepers mostly offer for processed foods because those are the most profitable items stores for sell, and they make deals with the manufacturers to promote their products. Finally the experts expressed their opinion that Coupons are about marketing, not health.

Reference: Medline Plus