The Devastating Ways Shopping at Costco Is Ruining Your Health

Costco is a place the masses tend to love. But really, it should be a hypochondriac’s worst nightmare. There are, in fact, multiple factors that can make a Costco run more of a brush with death than your run-of-the-mill grocery run. (And we aren’t just talking about those unhealthy food samples they hand out.)

Having trouble believing us? Here are the ways a trip to Costco is detrimental to your health.

Fluorescent lights

Fluorescent lights at a supermarket.

Costco’s lighting can be harmful to your eyes. | Kschulze/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Costco has a plethora of light bulbs to choose from, from LEDs to ceiling fixtures and more. But it’s the fluorescent fixtures on their ceilings that you should be aware of. As explains, overexposure to fluorescent lighting is bad for your ocular health. Heavy exposure to fluorescent bulbs causes eye strain and fatigue, which can lead to headaches. In the most severe cases, overexposure to fluorescent lighting has reportedly been linked to UV-ray related eye diseases.

Heavy materials

Woman pushing heavy grocery cart.

Don’t push yourself … or your groceries, too much. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Pretty much everything at Costco can be bought in bulk. And since most of us don’t have our own personal forklift, we end up lugging more weight around than we can probably handle. This can cause severe muscle strain, perhaps even a muscle tear if you aren’t careful. If you are regularly making Costco runs and hurting your muscles like this, you could be at risk of developing rhabdomyolysis, which WebMD says releases proteins into your blood stream that cause kidney failure — or even death.


Woman reads the labels for chemical products.

Make sure to read all chemical bottles carefully. | JackF/iStock/Getty Images Plus

There is a wide range of products that line Costco’s shelves. That, unfortunately, includes deadly household products. A report from November 2016 revealed that, while many retailers are moving away from toxic chemicals, Costco isn’t one of them. In fact, on a large grading scale, Costco was given an “F.”

Just imagine if you were walking down the aisle when one of those bottles of harmful chemicals came crashing to the floor, exploding all over anything in its path.

Long lines

A cash register at a supermarket.

Long lines can be more than just a mild annoyance. | Grigorenko/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

Nobody likes standing in long lines. But that’s just because nobody likes being bored, right? On the contrary, waiting in line can actually be hazardous to your health. As Psychology Today summarizes, the irritation that develops from waiting in long lines at check-out leads to physiological stress. This, in turn, raises your heart rate and blood pressure. (Think about how often you stand in long lines at Costco. That can add up to long-term blood pressure problems.)

Additionally, standing on that hard concrete for too long isn’t good for your lower limbs and back.

Food storage

Large and spacious supermarket.

Don’t be fooled by all the perfectly lined shelves. | Kwangmoozaa/iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Sure, it probably isn’t easy to keep a gigantic warehouse like Costco in perfect and pristine condition all the time. But if there’s one thing that really should be monitored to perfection, it’s the temperature of their facilities and how their food is being stored. A Dateline NBC report from 2006 revealed that a common infraction made among Costco stores is that their temperature isn’t well regulated. Which is bad, when you consider all the food they have in the vicinity.

Bulk food

A supermarket aisle full of product and food.

When you’re in Costco, it’s easy to buy more than you really need. | Kwangmoozaa/iStock/Getty Images Plus

As previously mentioned, shopping at Costco is appealing to many people because you can buy things in bulk. This might seem like a good idea when it comes to food, because it allows you to stock up in one full swoop. But this also means that you are loading up on processed foods that are packed with heart-stopping sodium and other unhealthy entities. Even though Costco has “clean eating” options, you can get most of these foods from other stores, for much lower prices.


A woman takes a sample being offered at a supermarket.

It wouldn’t be Costco without samples … but limit yourself to just one or two. | Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images

There is no denying that the food samples at Costco are one of the reasons so many people venture into their food section. But all those nibbles are doing your health a great disservice. The majority of those foods are unhealthy and are contributing to unnecessary snacking. (And that’s even before you go to the food court for a hot dog.) It’s no wonder superstores such as Costco have been linked to the country’s terrifying obesity epidemic.

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