The 2012 FMI Health & Wellness Conference emphasized the important role that food retailers could and should play as a community based health and wellness resource for consumers. Jeremy Nobel, MD, scientific advisor to Guiding Stars, moderated a well-attended breakout session on March 20 entitled “Your Shoppers: Changing The Way We Think About Public Health By Putting Food First.”
Dr. Nobel graphically described our nation’s healthcare crisis spurred by rampant obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. He went on to emphasize the vital role that food choices, nutrition and eating behavior play, and cited Guiding Stars as one example of programs that have been demonstrated to positively impact food choices. Dr. Nobel introduced Dennis Milne of the American Heart Association, who presented evidence that the AHA’s Heart Check on shelf tags influences consumer choices of heart healthy foods.
Julie Greene, manager of healthy living for food retailer Hannaford, gave an impassioned presentation of how Hannaford is introducing programs like Guiding Stars Good Ideas to nudge shoppers toward healthier food consumption at home. Guiding Stars Good Ideas merchandises healthy meal ingredients together in endcap displays in the store. The shopper can make a simple and easy selection of ingredients to take home for a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less.