Health

Surprise! There’s a doctor at your grocery store

Dr. Daniel Ganjian is a participant in Providence St. Joseph Health's 'Shop With Your Doc' program
Dr. Daniel Ganjian is a participant in Providence St. Joseph Health's 'Shop With Your Doc' program
Robert Garrova

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There’s a new twist in the fight against obesity: Some people shopping for groceries may soon find themselves discussing their food choices with a doctor.

It’s a pilot program run by Providence St. Joseph Health’s Southern California region. Providence partnered with several grocery stores -- from Santa Monica to Apple Valley -- to put doctors in the aisles and help shoppers make healthier choices.

Dr. Daniel Ganjian looks a little out of place standing in front of the fresh produce section of the local Ralphs in his lab coat.

But the pediatrician from Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica is here to offer some pointers.

It makes sense: In California, obesity affects about one out of four adults and nearly one out of three kids between the ages of 10 and 17.

"Eat before you come" to the store, Ganjian says.  

That one we can all agree on. Ganjian also says to spend 80 percent of your time on the periphery of the store since that’s where all the fruits and vegetables are.

Dr. Daniel Ganjian gives some advice to shopper Chevet Brown. 

"And you only spend 20 percent of it in the aisles where there’s the snacks and the pre-made foods," Ganjian says.  

Doc Ganjian changes at least one mind while he’s walking the juice aisle.

Dr. Daniel Ganjian talks shopper Richard Cook into trying the low-sodium vegetable juice.
Dr. Daniel Ganjian talks shopper Richard Cook into trying the low-sodium vegetable juice.
Robert Garrova

"[He] talked me out of taking the regular V8 and getting the low sodium V8 instead," says Richard Cook.

Mr. Cook has just one more request: "I asked him for a physical but he won’t give me one," he says. 

Maybe an idea for next year.

https://youtu.be/XGBl2Th_6gU