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With more than 140 million customer visits each week, Walmart is the nation's largest grocery chain. The food that it stocks has the ability to shape the way this country eats, for better or for worse.
Last Thursday, the mega corporation announced a five-point health initiative, pledging to provide its customers with more affordable, healthy grocery choices. First Lady Michelle Obama joined CEO Bill Simon on stage while he outlined the following plan.
Walmart will reformulate thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015.
Working with national suppliers, Walmart is going to remove all trans fats from the food it sells, and plans on reducing sodium by 25 percent and added sugars by 10 percent.
Make healthier choices more affordable.
CEO Simon put it best by saying that "No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford.”
Develop strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal.
This seal will denote which products are the healthier choices by clearly labeling those made with whole grains or without added sugars.
Provide solutions to address food "deserts."
These so-called food deserts are communities in which access to groceries is limited. Walmart plans on opening locations in these areas to provide residents with a place to shop for good-for-you groceries.
Increase charitable support for nutrition programs.
This charitable support will provide Walmart shoppers with information about nutrition and health, providing education to help make the right food choices.
Walmart says it isn't interested in telling people what they should eat, and that this initiative was brought on by customers asking for more variety in healthy food choices. Experts say this drastic move will reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in customers, as well as fight obesity.
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