Who Is Eating All That Food?

Is it just me, or does it seem that there has been an explosion of new places that sell and/or serve food in the St. Louis suburbs over the last few years?

Huge new Schnucks and Dierbergs stores have opened, the truly massive food offerings at new Costco Wholesale and Sam’s Clubs, all the WalMarts and Targets that have added groceries, Lucky’s Market and The Fresh Market coming to town, and lots of new Aldi grocery stores.

Also, new restaurants offering every cuisine possible, gourmet coffee shops, brew pubs, farmers markets and food trucks popping up every week, Tim Horton’s coming to town, more St. Louis Bread Company locations and now even bank branches are putting coffee shops or cafes in their lobbies.

According to the St. Louis County Assessor’s office, over the past five years over 5,000 new permits were issued per year for new establishments or store departments selling food. That’s over 25,000 in just the last five years.

At the same time, according to the US Census Bureau, the population of St. Louis County from 2010 through 2014 has grown just 0.3% – essentially flat. Compare that with 1.1% growth in the state during the same period, and it’s really flat.

So, my question again is: who is eating all this additional food? A big part of the answer is that in Missouri, the percent of adults who are obese has increased from 12% in 1990 to over 30% in 2013.

According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), that includes me. So, I am trying to do something about it. And if you would like to do something about it, too, we have some great resources in this issue who can help. Check out the article by personal trainer Matt Kliethermes on page 11. Also, hypnotherapist Joan Krueger on page 10, and Health and Wellness Consultant Angie Thomas on page 19. If you ever wondered about where our fastest food and drink originated, John Robinson has some answers on page 36.