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Anorak | Every Little Helps

Every Little Helps

by | 28th, April 2004

‘FOR years, supermarket shoppers have mistakenly believed that it was bad engineering that was responsible for wonky shopping trolleys.

Studying sports management at Tesco University

Today, we can reveal that they were in fact a prototype for the ‘trim trolley’, a new invention by Tesco to help its customers lose weight even as they snatch another family pack of cream cakes off the shelves.

According to the Independent, the trolley measures pulse rate, tells customers how many calories they are burning as they shop and even offers them a work-out around the aisles.

It is equipped with an electronic monitor to check heartbeat and calorie expenditure, while an ‘adjustable resistance wheel’ (which used to be known simply as a broken, or dodgy, wheel) makes the trolley harder to push.

Its manufacturers claims that a normal 40-minute shop will burn off 160 calories, but with the trim trolley set to maximum resistance that could rise to 280.

Derek Thowney explains: ‘Obesity is a massive issue in this country and this trolley could help address some of the problems around diet and exercise.

‘It will raise people’s awareness of weight and fitness.’

And keep Tesco customers alive longer than, say, Asda customers or Sainsbury’s customers – so giving the supermarket giant a chance to take yet more of their money.

Of course, this is just a gimmick by Tesco. If it were serious about encouraging its customers to lose weight, there are plenty of more effective measures it could adopt.

It could, for instance, make the confectionary and biscuit aisle really narrow so only the thinnest customers could fit through it.

It could put a barcode scanner on each trolley which could read how many calories there are in each item you buy and display the total in flashing lights above your head.

Or it could even stock fewer high calorie products…’



Posted: 28th, April 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink