Opinion: Amazon Buying Whole Foods Won’t Make You Healthier

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Amazon is buying Whole Foods for almost $14 billion.

I’m already imagining automated checkouts and no lines at Whole Foods, a shopping model that Amazon is already testing. Or the prospect of having Whole Foods groceries delivered right to my door less than an hour after checking out online. Analysts are predicting lower prices for Whole Foods’ premium products if this deal comes to its predicted fruition.

But what does this mean for us in the context of health & fitness? Certainly, having such incredible access to healthy food would be a game-changer when it comes to living healthy lifestyles, right?

I completely agree that the future accessibility of Whole Foods groceries will change our grocery-shopping habits. But this is just one piece of the puzzle, and it would be farfetched to say that we would be healthier overall as a result of this accessibility to quality food.

What happens when food is accessible? We eat more. What happens when this food is also high-quality? We eat more. If this was organic truffle-oil pizza, my first impulse is that I DEFINITELY WANT MORE.

Well guess what. Calories in calories out. That never changes. Consuming more “healthy” food means more calories, and over time that will lead to weight gain. Not too shabby for someone looking to gain muscle and weight. But considering that the majority of us want to lose weight and burn fat, this should be taken with a bit of caution.

Whether a food is “healthy” or not depends entirely on the context on which it is being judged. An organic peanut butter cup is still a peanut butter cup that is high in fat and carbs. However, perhaps you can use those calories to fuel your workout. The context for said peanut butter cup always changes.

So don’t expect increased availability of “healthy” foods to automatically make you healthier just because you’re consuming more of it. At the end of the day, that’s more calories, and it’s still protein, fat, and carbs.

by Jeremy Lau

New York, NY

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