Online grocery shoppers purchase fewer unhealthy impulse foods

When grocery shopping online, people tend to spend more money and purchase more items than when they shop in person, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers also found that participants spent less money on candy and desserts when shopping online. Spending on sugar-sweetened beverages and sweet and salty snacks stayed the same, suggesting that these purchases may be less impulse-sensitive.

The study was published June 8, 2021 in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Eric Rimm, professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, was the study’s senior author.

“With more people buying their groceries online, it will be really important to understand how that impacts the nutritional profile of the foods they purchase,” first author Laura Zatz, SD ’20, said in a June 8, 2021 U.S. News & World Report article.

Read the U.S. News & World Report article: Why Getting Your Groceries Online Might Be Healthier