Nutrition News: Healthier Food From Walmart

Our readers targeted cost as one of the major obstacles to eating better. Well, a little help may be coming your way. After years of planning and recent discussions with first lady, Michelle Obama, the nation's largest retailer, Walmart,  is rolling out its 5-year plan to make healthy foods more accessible to consumers. Here's what the company's changing, and our take on the new initiative.

The Plan

In addition to dropping prices on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious fare, Walmart plans to slash some of the junk from processed foods in its own “Great Value” line. On the chopping block:  a percentage of the sodium, trans fats, and added sugars found in soups and other canned items, salad dressings, and snack foods. The company aims to reduce sodium by 25 percent and sugars by 10 percent, while artery-clogging trans fat will be completely banished.  It will also ask suppliers to submit a "voluntary score card" to track the initiative's progress.

In similar fashion to other giant food companies like Kraft and ConAgra, Walmart plans to make reductions gradually in the hopes of not turning off customers. Also on the agenda: special logos to identify healthy options on the shelves much like the NuVal system.

While Walmart isn’t the first grocer to launch such initiatives, it is the largest. And while this huge undertaking is just getting started (and its success yet to be measured) this will hopefully have a trickle-down effect to other food manufacturers.

As a nutrition professional, I'm excited to finally see some changes on the way. While I have no doubt that these big companies are motivated by financial gain more than anything else, hopefully initiatives like this will get more Americans to pay attention to their food choices. I would also like to see companies like Walmart tackle other important nutrition issues leading to America's obesity epidemic like the over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but I'll take what's happening as a good start and be optimistic that things seem to be moving in the right direction.

TELL US: What do you think about Walmart’s moves towards healthier products?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

Next Up

Food News: Hotels Debut Healthier Menus

Fairmont Hotels and Westin Hotels & Resorts are setting the standard for new hotel meal options. Both companies have rolled out healthy menus for even the pickiest of eaters.

Nutrition News: Craft-Beer Labeling, Gluten Sensitivity, Healthier Checkout Lanes

FDA requires nutrition labels on craft beer, research offers insight into gluten sensitivity, checkout lanes go family friendly and candy free.

Nutrition News: Healthier School Lunches, Coconut Oil, Juice Cleanse Details

Healthy school lunch changes pay off, clearing up the murkiness around coconut oil, and things to know before attempting a juice cleanse.

Nutrition News: Pink Slime

What’s your take on the food issue everyone’s talking about: pink slime?

Nutrition News: Healthier Hershey’s Kisses, Pregnancy Weight Guidelines, Ditching Sugary Sodas

Hershey’s Kiss ingredients simplified, doctors urge healthy eating during pregnancy, IHOP and Applebee’s cut sugary sodas from kids’ menus.   

Food News: National Parks to Offer Healthier Grub

The National Park Service announced a new nationwide "Healthy Parks, Healthy People" plan, issuing food guidelines and standards for healthy options at over 250 national parks.

6 Healthier Packaged Foods

The recent Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston showcased an array of good-for-you foods that are new to the market. Here are six worth checking out.

Nutrition News: Exotic New Superfoods, Food Safety Measures, NYC Salt Rules

U.S. overhauls food-safety system; New York institutes menu salt labeling. Plus: What’s the next big superfood? 

This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Our Nutrition News Feed covers all the latest nutrition information. This week: carbs are good for you, it's not expensive to eat healthy foods, and an imaginary meal to help you lose weight.

Related Pages