Obesity rates in America have hit record high numbers. Here in Vermont, the state reports more than half of adults in vermont are considered overweight or obese, and the Center for Disease Control says physical activity and healthy eating are the best options for prevention.
Locally, stores are offering some help for your family.
There are so many choices when you walk into the grocery store.
Buy local, or sale items, or gluten free -- fresh or frozen.
It's a lot to take in. But now some grocery stores are offering guidance.
Nutritionists and registered dieticians are becoming part of the regular staff at food stores, acting as a resource for shoppers.
Healthy Living market is one of them. Just this summer they began staffing a nutritionist in store -- with free services for customers and clients.
"Clients would come to see me in my office, we would talk about foods that are really good for them, they would get really excited about it. Then they would go home and open up their cupboards and not see those foods and not know what to do next," says registered dietician Kimberly Evans.
Shoppers say it's nice to know someone is in store with sound advice.
"I think it is very helpful," says shopper Bess Malson-Huddle. "I have neve personally used that service because I look things up on the Internet and I have a friend who studied nutrition in college so I am always her stuff but it's nice to know. I certainly could ask someone."
And that is exactly what they hope you will do. Sign up for a time slot with Evans and the time is yours to use. She can do a free consult, help you build a weekly menu for your family or even hit the aisles with you and help you shop.
"To be able to actually take them into the store, say here is where these foods are, here is where these supplements are, here is a recipe, and here is how you do this at home," Evans says.
Her services are new to the store, but she says she's already spotted trends with client concerns.
"The trend that we are seeing is around gastrointestinal health or gut health," she says. "People are really becoming curious about the relationship between their gut health and overall health of their body."
Shoppers say they can be found guilty of falling into a food rhythm and not always trying new things -- but with her assistance they can learn how to build weekly meals around new items in your cart.
"I think so often people shop in a rush but also at stores like this people shop for entertainment so learning while you are there doesn't seem like a stretch to me," Malson-Huddle says.
Many chain grocery stores are beginning to offer similar services. It's recommend you call ahead, and set up an appointment for these services.
For more on the state's efforts on the initiative Fit and Healthy Vermonters visit http://healthvermont.gov/fitandhealthy.aspx#what.