Are coupons bad for your waistline?
According to a new study, cutting coupons will not help you cut inches. Why? The overwhelming majority of coupons generally only slash the prices of junk foods. Researchers found that the most popular discounts are offered on chips, crackers, deserts and a plethora of other processed foods.
The study, published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, looked at over 1,000 online coupons for major grocery giants. Their results may be disturbing to some.
Of the thousand coupons looked at, 25 percent were for snack foods, 14 percent were for frozen and prepared dinners and 12 percent discounted high-sugar beverages. And others offered money off of cereals, condiments and processed high-calorie, high-fat content meats like bacon.
Only 3 percent of these coupons offered discounts on fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. They also found that only 1 percent of the coupons lowered the cost of unprocessed meats.
With such low numbers offering healthy discounts, the rest is left to advertise sugary processed foods to the masses, researchers said.
“Coupons are about marketing, not health,” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, in a statement.
Researchers said that because these discounts make food affordable, low income customers often turn to coupons to feed their families. And when all the coupons in circulation market unhealthy, nutrition-lacking foods, the system promotes malnutrition and obesity in these demographics.
Founder of the study, Dr. Hilary Seligman said, in a statement, that “when junk foods are the foods, stores are lowering the prices of, we shouldn’t be surprised that more of them are purchased.”
Researchers suggest that when when you’re looking to save a buck sometimes for your health, 50 percent off is not good.
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