PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Grocery stores are introducing personalized help for shoppers to combat the country’s obesity epidemic.
James Aguilera spends time going over numbers from his lab work with a dietitian.
“I’m a diabetic, type 1, so my A1C was out of control,” Aguilera said.
But they’re not in a doctor’s office; they’re at his local grocery store.
Registered dietitian Kelsey Lubeck meets with customers every week at a Shop Rite in New Jersey, a service the store offers free of charge.
“We’ll do a one-on-one consultation,” Lubeck explained. “We’ll sit down for a bit and then we walk to the store and show them products.”
Lubeck provides tips for reading nutrition labels to help customers make healthy choices.
For customers like Aguilera who has diabetes, Lubeck shows how to accurately count carbs in products.
“She explained that’s not really 15 grams of carbs anymore,” Aguilera said. “You subtract the seven grams of fiber, now it’s eight grams of carbs.”
Inserra Supermarkets launched the program in 2012 and says thousands of customers have taken part.
“A lot of shoppers are dealing with chronic medical conditions that diet and nutrition can really play an important role in helping resolve or prevent,” explained Dana McLaughlin, a health and wellness manager at Inserra Supermarkets.
Since shopping with Lubeck, Aguilera has his diabetes in check, and he’s lost weight.
“I’ve lost 20 pounds, since I started this about a year ago,” Aguilera said.
One thing he’s gained is a healthier way to shop.
Other supermarkets offer access to dietitians and nutritionists but most charge for those extra services.
You can also easily find tips for healthy grocery shopping free online as reading nutrition labels can be tricky.