The #1 Problem With Buying Your Groceries Online, New Study Reveals — Eat This Not That

Online grocery store purchases were already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that we are in the third year of the global health crisis, the the trend has grown even more. Being able to have groceries delivered right to your door is not only convenient but also safer than going to the grocery store in the middle of the pandemic.

But a new study published in public health nutrition has discovered that there is a significant downside to this convenient purchase option. Most online grocery retailers do not have nutrition facts, ingredients, and allergen information available in online product listings, a factor that is required by US law to appear on the physical packaging of food products in all physical stores. Read on to learn more about this issue, and then check out these 6 things you’ll see at Costco this year.

To better understand what information appears on products sold by online grocery stores, researchers from New York University’s School of Global Public Health and Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy analyzed 10 top products at nine major online grocery retailers. They focused on bread, cereal, and beverages for the study.

On average, nutritional information appeared online only 36.5% of the time. Potential allergens were only revealed for 11.4% of study products.

Related: 5 Myths About Online Grocery Shopping

groceries delivered to the front door

“The information that should be provided to consumers in conventional grocery stores is not consistently provided online — in fact, it only appears on about a third of the online grocery items we surveyed,” said the lead author of the study. study, Jennifer Pomeranz, an assistant professor of public health policy and management at the NYU School of Global Public Health.

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This may mean that online grocery shopping can lead you to unknowingly make less healthy choices. For example, if you are following a low sodium diet Due to blood pressure issues, you may not be able to recognize which items are the best to buy as the nutritional values ​​are not listed.

“The labeling requirements are intended to protect consumers who are largely unable to protect themselves,” Pomeranz said. “This is even more important for online sales where consumers cannot directly inspect products. At a minimum, all required nutrition facts panel must be visible and legible to consumers who purchase their groceries online.”

Online grocery shopping was already gaining momentum before COVID-19 emerged, but now researchers predict that as many as nearly 22% of all grocery shoppers will switch online by 2025.

“Our study shows that today’s online food shopping environment is a kind of ‘Wild West,’ with incomplete and inconsistent provision of required nutrition information to consumers,” said study lead author Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School. “Online shopping will continue to grow, and this creates a tremendous opportunity to positively influence consumers to make healthy and safe choices. We need to seize this opportunity to help advance the nutrition-related health crisis in this country.”

For more information, see the Joe’s New Trader’s 5 Healthiest Foods, According to Dieticians.

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