Walmart, First Lady Join Forces for Healthy Eating

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Walmart has teamed up with first lady Michelle Obama to launch a new healthy food campaign.

The initiative includes re-formulating thousands of food products to make them healthier and more affordable as they work to lower America's obesity levels. 

Mrs. Obama hopes to transform the eating patterns of Americans by reducing the salt and sugar in packaged foods and cutting the cost of fruits and vegetables.

"This nutrition charter promises a real change that can have a fundamental impact in how our kids eat," she said. "Because when parents have the information they need about the products they buy, that puts them back in charge, so they can make good decisions for their families."

In keeping with the first lady's vision, Walmart officials have promised to cut sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent, and trans-fats from thousands of its products.

Walmart says it will make the changes over the next four years.  Since the world's largest retail chain is twice the size of Kroger, the second-largest American grocer, the health initiative is expected to force food suppliers to go healthy as well.

"So parents haven't just changed how Walmart does business, they're actually changing how the entire food industry does business.  And that's a good thing.  That is a very, very good and powerful thing," Mrs. Obama said.

Walmart has not only promised to go healthy, it has also promised to build stores in poor areas that don't have grocery stores.  And it's promising to cut costs.  Store officials they will slash prices on fruits and vegetables by $1 billion in an effort to make healthy eating affordable.

"They're (parents) trying to do what's healthy, but it's hard to have access to healthy food and it's hard to afford them and that's what we're trying to change," said Bill Simon, Walmart's president and chief executive officer.

"No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford," he added.

Walmart's new plan could dramatically change Americans health.  Experts say it has the potential to significantly impact diabetes and heart-related disease.

Mrs. Obama praised the effort, saying it's  "a victory for parents, it's a victory for families and most of all it's a victory for children."

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

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Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.