Secret Weapon to a Healthy Weight: A Shopping List

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(CNN) – Forget fancy diets and expensive exercise programs. Fighting fat and keeping a healthy weight may be as easy as food shopping with a grocery list.

People who said they always used a list when they shopped had a healthier weight, even in neighborhoods where there were a variety of obstacles to eating healthy, according to a new study.

This latest data builds on earlier research that showed people may lose weight if they stick to a list when they shop.

To get at this conclusion, researchers went door to door collecting demographic information, height and weight, and details about a person’s diet. This was in lower-income neighborhoods in Pittsburgh that are considered “food deserts,” meaning residents who live there have few options for healthy food. Most of the residents in the neighborhood had household incomes below $20,000 and the majority were African-American.

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