Seniors drive food-shopping growth

shoppingcart3Visiting my parents in New Hampshire this week, I spent a lot of time in the grocery store. As a matter of fact, we shopped for groceries every single day. According to industry experts, seniors are the most frequent shoppers, averaging more shopping trips annually than any other cohort. Why? Possibly because seniors are less able to carry heavy bags and are more likely to be financially strapped, so shopping on an as-needed basis works for them. Over the next 10 years, U.S. households are predicted to grow 8 percent, according to market research firm A.C. Nielsen, but households closer to the poverty level are expected to grow twice as fast, at 17 percent. The majority of this growth is attributed to seniors living on limited budgets. Cash-strapped seniors have honed their shopping habits in recent years as the economy has worsened. More seniors rely on a shopping list, even though research shows they spend more time in the store and travel down every aisle more often than...

Building bones

strong-bonesAt age 35 I found out my bones weren’t as strong and healthy as a normal 35-year-old’s. Back then, almost 20 years ago, on my first appointment with a new doctor, one of the forms I was asked to complete was a checklist of 13 risk factors for osteoporosis. I read down the checklist. Am I female? Check. Am I white or of Asian descent? Check. Am I small boned? Check. Do I have a less than average consumption of foods with calcium? I am not a big consumer of dairy products, so: check. Was there a history of osteoporosis in my family? Check. Did I have a history of long-term use of corticosteroids? Check. Did I like my wine? Check. Seven of 13, and I was just getting started. The doctor ordered a test to measure my bone density, which was quick and painless. A few days later she called and told me that I had osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, in my hip bone and spine. I had thought osteoporosis was an old lady disease. I guess I was wrong, because at age 35 I certainly...

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