Giant stores now offering in-store nutritionists

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Giant calls it an effort to be a good neighbor. (WPVI)

If you are looking to lose weight or just eat healthier, a new service can help. It's right at your grocery store and it's practically free.

Not everyone can afford to meet with a registered dietician, and not all health insurance plans cover visits. But some grocery stores are offering their customers expert advice right inside the store.

Courtney Schoepe is one of a dozen in-house nutritionists now at many local Giant stores. They offer personalized nutrition consultations, covering all kinds of issues.

"Food allergies, blood sugar control if you have diabetes, low sodium, low fat diets for people with cardiac issues," Schoepe explained.

Courtney works with the pharmacy for customers with medical problems, and she helps some shoppers lose weight with easy tips, like shopping the perimeter of the store first.

"Those are the things that are most basic, most natural. You have your fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood and dairy," she said.

And learning how to read food labels.

"First things first is the ingredient list."

A session costs $20 but then you get a $20 gift card to use at the store.

Courtney also says she helps families shop on a budget by shopping coupons and flyers.

Giant calls it an effort to be a good neighbor. It makes health education affordable and accessible so customers can live healthier lives.

Other grocery store chains have also brought on nutritionists. But not all work directly with the customers.

For more information about the program at Giant visit http://www.giantfoodstores.com/live-well/health-and-wellness/nutritionists/

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