Walmart is famous for low-cost food and consumer products, which is a relief for people who are trying to slash their grocery bills costs. But are you aware that buying from Walmart may also have a significant effect in the rising rates of obesity?
Researchers examined the effects of Walmart Supercenters on body mass index (BMI) and obesity, and discovered that an additional Walmart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3% points. Science Direct reports:
“These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s…”(link)
Dr. Joseph Mercola says this is because low food prices are usually imposed on packaged processed foods and junk foods. These unhealthy foods are loaded with fructose, sugar, and grains that contribute to weight gain.
The Increasing Rates of Obesity Are Alarming!
Sixty-six percent of American adults and almost one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight. In 2010 alone, obesity rates have significantly risen in 16 U.S. states. Twelve states now have obesity rates over 30 percent. This is alarming because four years ago, only one state had such a high rate of obesity.
Dr. Mercola says that this increase is because of the overconsumption of fructose and sugar, most of which is hidden in processed foods. An average American now ingests one-third of a pound of sugar every day, which translates to at least two tons of sugar in an entire lifetime!
Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose, with the majority being directly converted into fat by your liver. It fools your metabolism and tricks your body into gaining weight. Fructose does not stimulate insulin, which is responsible for suppressing ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” It also doesn’t stimulate leptin, the “satiety hormone.” All of these lead you to eat more and develop insulin resistance.
However, money is not the only reason why people choose junk food over healthy food. Many believe that processed foods and junk food are faster and more convenient, but the truth is making homemade foods using whole, organic ingredients is healthier and cheaper.
Here’s Another Reason NOT to Shop at Walmart
Walmart is the largest single U.S. importer of Chinese products, importing over 30 billion dollars’ worth of China goods yearly (link). This accounts for 80 percent of Walmart’s imports and 15 percent of the overall U.S. imports of Chinese goods.
There have been many controversies regarding China-made products that involve toxic food ingredients. Some examples include:
- Pet food ingredients laced with toxic melamine
- Imported livestock quarantined for disease and contaminated with toxic chemicals
- Some Chinese aquatic farms produce catfish fillets that contain bacteria and heavy metals
- A cancer-causing chemical found in dried apples
- Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides
- Chinese-raised fish fed a diet of chicken waste and human waste and raised in an environment polluted with antibiotics, fungicides, and pesticides. These seafoods are sometimes sold in U.S. supermarkets.
Walmart also promotes a distorted view of organic foods. They have been accused of selling substandard organic food that is either imported from China or produced at factory farms. They even post signs in their stores that mislead consumers into believing that non-organic items are actually organic. This is why local organic farmers are still your best source of healthful foods.
Lose Weight and Fight Obesity with These Simple Tips
The increasing rate of obesity is indeed alarming, but avoiding buying at Walmart is not the only thing you should do to solve or avoid this problem. If you want to fight obesity, Dr. Mercola says you need to remove processed foods, fruit juices, soda (regular and sugar-free), and other fructose sources from your diet. Avoid unhealthy sweeteners like agave and aspartame. The recommended daily fructose consumption is below 25 grams a day, including fruits.
Some people also lose weight when they restrict carbohydrates like sugars and grains in their diet. Avoid breakfast cereals, waffles, bagels, pretzels, and other processed foods that quickly break down to sugar. Replace them with nutritious substitutes like proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. Carbohydrates in vegetables are great for your body because they slow the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decrease your insulin level. Dr. Mercola recommends his comprehensive nutrition plan.
He also advises you to incorporate exercises like Peak Fitness into your daily routine. Along with a healthy eating program, exercise can help you manage your weight and reach optimal health.