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Wal-Mart Takes a Healthy Turn

Wal-Mart Takes a Healthy Turn

Wal-Mart announced Thursday a five-year plan to promote healthier foods in stores across the country. Their plan includes lowering the price on fruits and vegetables, reducing the amount of salts, fats and sugars in thousands of house brand products, and opening stores in ‘food deserts’ — urban areas with little access to healthy food options.

A number of studies have shown a correlation between low-income level and obesity as healthy food tends to be more expensive and less available in low-income areas. Wal-Mart intends to address this issue by making healthier food more affordable and accessible, especially in urban areas that are underserved. As the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the U.S.

Wal-Mart has committed to reduce sodium by 25 percent, eliminate added trans fat and reduce sugars by 10 percent by 2015, according to a New York Times report. Other companies, such as ConAgra Foods, have also made similar recent plans to make healthier changes.

Michelle Obama was involved in discussions with Wal-Mart prior to their decision. As the first lady in a country with the highest number of obese people, she has made healthy eating and fighting childhood obestiy an important priority in her agenda.

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Read more: Food, News & Issues

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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.

66 comments

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3:37PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Thats better. but we need far more improvement

8:57PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

This is a step in the right direction. Of course there is a lot wrong with Wal-Mart. But let's not snicker when someone is trying to make a positive move. Wal-Mart is not going to just go away. So let's encourage them to do the right thing whenever they can. I for one am glad to hear they are committing to doing better in the future.

Maybe they've realized that if they kill off their best customers with their unhealthy foods, it will be unprofitable.

9:16AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

I hope this includes NOT carrying GMO food.

6:27AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

I don' want to be a party pooper but lowering the prices on fruit? Who do you think is taking the cut there... WAL-MART or the third world farms they import this fruit from? I'll give you a hint, it's not WAL-MART.

Also, it's nice they are reducing sodium and sugar but it's not really because they care, it's because these days it's become hollywood to be "green" A lot of people will buy anything if you put a little green leaf on the label next to the words "all natural." But those products will still have the same dangerous preservatives, gmos and etc in them with or without extra sugar and salt. Essentially there is no such thing as healthy processed foods.

Also to every one who says the poor can't afford to shop at anywhere but WAL-MART - I disagree! My husband and I are dirt poor, have been for years and we won't step foot in that wicked, vile place. You know why? Because we are frugal and don't try to keep up with consumerism. We also like to make our own furniture, clothing and other things where we can. Oh and we are big fans of recycling and reusing.

I think what you guys really mean to say is "I can't afford to buy piles and piles of crap endlessly unless I do it at WAL-MART." It's so sad what the media has convinced people they need these days!

1:27PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

I know alot of people don't like Wal-mart for certain reasons but it's good especially for people with lower income to shop there. So I won't judge people who go there to shop. Alot of stuff I've seen there they have at other places but way more expensive. I'm not gonna say it's the best store out there but it's not the worse either.

12:17PM PST on Mar 6, 2011

Exactly, Charlene S!

10:38AM PST on Mar 6, 2011

There is still so much wrong with Walmart and the way they do business that this is just a cosmetic change. All those "cheap" products they sell are not so cheap after all when you factor in all the American manufacturing, labor, and farming jobs that went overseas so big corporations like Walmart could reduce their operating expenses in nations that have no unions, worker health/safety standards, or environmental regulations. Those "low low" prices have cost us tremendously.

9:01PM PST on Mar 5, 2011

I will believe it when I see it...when I see in my Walmart store fresh fruits and vegetables, GROWN IN AMERICA when possible, and more healthful processed foods produced IN AMERICA from AMERICAN-grown crops. It's not gonna happen. They have to remain profitable, so what they're going to do in order to drop prices is cut costs, by buying even more products in countries with no labor laws and no quality control laws.

Walmart should, insofar as POSSIBLE (not insofar as convenient) buy local, or if not local, then in the country where they are located. If the product is simply not available, or not good enough to offer their customers, then look beyond national borders. But that's not what they do. Instead, they'll go outside the country if they can save a few cents, never mind the cost in human suffering, the cost in product quality and safety, or the cost to the local economy.

Sam Walton must be spinning in his grave.

11:40AM PST on Feb 3, 2011

A little bit helps, THANKS!

8:55PM PST on Jan 24, 2011

Screw walmart. Destroying America every day. They will never get even a penny from me. Get informed: http://walmartwatch.org/

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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