Publix dietitians help customers learn to shop healthy

If you're looking to make better choices at the supermarket, but aren't sure where to start, a new grocery shopping trend could be your answer.

It sounds like something reserved for Hollywood elites, but supermarket chains everywhere are starting to offer dietitians to accompany shoppers down the aisles and help them make better food choices.

In the Bay Area, the Publix store in Wesley Chapel offers the service, so FOX 13 News went on a trip to the grocery store with a shopper who recently found himself in need of a new way to shop.

Pete Mohrmann says he had to make some life changes after a trip to his doctor.

"He said I was borderline diabetic. For years, I put on one to two pounds and finally said, 'It's time for a reset,'" Mohrmann said.

But without specific instructions, how does one begin to reset? Mohrmann says he found the answer when he walked into his Publix in Wesley Chapel and saw a dietitian's office set up right next to the front door.

Registered Dietitian Holly Long signed him up for one of Publix's 12 week programs.

"We are in week four of our program, so he's had his initial counseling session, his first class, and his first store tour," Long said.

As part of the program, Long will walk you through the aisles - re teaching you how to shop based on your desires or medical needs.

Mohrmann says, "She takes you through the aisles, with other clients in a class, and shows you proper things to eat. Label reading is very important. The biggest thing for me was sugar. I eliminated sugar and found out that was a game changer for me. My energy level went up. I just felt like I had a lot more bounce in my step."

And with ages ranging from 8 to 70 - Long's clients have a variety of needs.

"Some people want to reduce inflammation in their bodies for arthritis. Teaching them what foods to incorporate, they feel a difference in their joint pain, so it's great to help people like that," she explained.

Others are already in shape, but hope to get stronger.

Long says, 'We have a sports nutrition package for your high school or college athlete who is looking to enhance their performance. We also have a gluten free program which is great for those who area newly diagnosed and are unsure if they are meeting all the nutrient requirements they need."

The fees vary and dietitians aren't available in every Publix store yet, but Mohrmann says having Long on side is keeping him educated and accountable. He says he's lost 13 pounds in four weeks.

'I've got 14 more to go, though," he said.

For Long, success isn't just about the numbers.

"They'll come back in, from seeing their doctor, and their labs have gone down, their weight has gone down, or they just feel better. They have more energy or they're not so tired," Long said.

To find the closest Publix with a dietitians on staff, visit