Your new dietitian: The grocery store - FOX 13 News

Your new dietitian: The grocery store

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VALRICO (FOX 13) -

Another shot has fired in the on-going supermarket war in the Bay area. Market leader Publix is now taking aim at your health, helping shoppers slim down by building a better diet plan.

Consider Jamie Stolarz your tour guide toward a balanced diet.  She's a registered dietitian, but she's not in any doctor's office. You can find her just across from frozen foods.

She's Publix's newest addition, offering her expertise on everything from meal planning to looking over your lab work to craft a custom diet.

"I'll help customers navigate the food maze and make this a positive shopping experience, as opposed to an intimidating one," Stolarz said Wednesday.

Personal grocery shopping services are even on the menu. Stolarz is available to map out the 'yays' and 'nays' of each aisle.

The in-store dietitian services range in price. Some services are free, but something like meal planning costs about $50 per week.

Experts say it's another example of the growing grocery wars.

"We're seeing the evolution of the grocery store. Right now, price competition is the big deal. By adding a dietitian, an amenity like that, perhaps that attracts customers who say, 'I'll take that place over the other which may have lower prices," said FOX 13 consumer reporter Chris Chmura.

While the program is just in the pilot-phase, Stolarz is hopeful the service will be a hit.

"When you teach someone something, and it becomes part of their daily life, I think it really makes a big impact on them now and for the future," she said.

Right now, Publix is testing the program at their Riverview store, with satellite centers in the Brandon and Valrico areas. If it's a success, the grocery giant plans to expand it to other locations.

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