ECU researchers continue to test healthy food options in convenience stores

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- We continue to follow the progress of a research project out of ECU. Faculty and students want to help you make better food choices. That’s why they’re testing various ways to make healthy options more attractive.

“The purpose was to see if people’s diet habits changed, or if we could get people to small stores, corner stores if they would actually eat healthier if we put healthier foods in the stores,” Dr. Stephanie Pitts said.

We introduced you to this project a few months back. After a series of control tests, researchers are ready to get the ball rolling. Six stores will receive healthy food options.

All snacks will have a label. The first is a stop light strategy. It’s the same concept we learned way back when, green means you’re good to go, and red means alert or caution.

The second initiative will have a calorie count with an exercise on it. The sticker will tell you how many pushups, crunches, or jumping jacks you have to do before you burn off that soda.

“Raise awareness of people’s minds about the importance of healthy eating especially in settings that you may be attempted to grab something less healthy and ultimately we want to help improve the quality of life and health in eastern North Carolina,” Dr. Pitts said.

The healthy foods will be placed in stores all across the east for at least two years to get a fair sample amount.

The healthy food options will be available in various convenience stores this July.

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