Mad Science: Wal-Mart Will Shrink Your Waistline

Wal-Mart is the land of sugary sodas, oversized bags of Cheese Doodles, and candy so cheap, you can’t afford not to buy it. So, you’d think having a Wal-Mart would be bad news for a town’s waistline. Not according to a new study. Economists at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that Wal-Marts “are associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced consumption of dietary fat.” Shocker.

The economists went into the study expecting to find a strong tie between Wal-Marts and obesity. Their research showed the opposite. According to the findings, obesity rates in communities with a Wal-Mart actually fell slightly. The reason? For one, Wal-Mart sells fresh produce for cheap, so people who may usually opt for a bag of chips might go for an apple. Even more interesting—having a Wal-Mart in the area makes prices in the entire area drop, so even those who don’t shop there benefit. And communities with Wal-Marts have about a 6.5 percent bump in annual income.

So, move as close to a Wal-Mart as you can, and you’ll be a skinnier, richer version of yourself. You’re welcome.