News / USA

Largest US Grocer Pledges Healthier Foods

First lady Michelle Obama arrives for a Wal-Mart announcement of a comprehensive effort to provide healthier and more affordable food choices to their customers, Jan. 20, 2011, in Washington.
First lady Michelle Obama arrives for a Wal-Mart announcement of a comprehensive effort to provide healthier and more affordable food choices to their customers, Jan. 20, 2011, in Washington.
TEXT SIZE - +

First lady Michelle Obama and retail giant Wal-Mart have launched a program aimed at improving the nutritional content of America's foods, and making those items more affordable for millions of Americans. The initiative is part of the first lady's campaign to promote healthier choices for children in the United States.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, says it will reformulate thousands of food products to make them healthier. It plans to reduce salt and sugar in foods by 2015, lower prices on produce and promote healthier food items.

"At Wal-Mart we don't believe that any customer, in fact any American, should have to choose between doing what is realistic and affordable and doing what is healthier for her family," said Andrea Thomas, a senior vice president at Wal-Mart.

A number of food makers, including Kraft Foods and PepsiCo Inc., announced sodium reductions in their products last year.

As the nation's largest grocer, Wal-Mart has unique influence in changing the practices of its suppliers.

The initiative  is part of first lady Michelle Obama's efforts to reduce childhood obesity in the U.S.

At a news conference in Washington Thursday, the president's wife called Wal-Mart's efforts "a huge victory" for all Americans.

"When kids are consuming these products every day, those reductions in sugar, and salts and trans-fat can really add up. When healthier options are finally affordable, that can affect every single meal a child eats, whether it's adding fruit at breakfast, or whole wheat bread at lunch, or some veggies on the plate at dinner," she said.

Mrs. Obama said the launch of the Wal-Mart campaign has the potential to transform the marketplace, citing the 140 million people who shop at the retailer each week.

"I don't just feel hopeful about what this one company is doing for our children's health. I feel hopeful about what we as a nation can do. And even more importantly, I feel hopeful about what we as individuals - what we as parents - can do.  That's the point," she said.

Mrs. Obama once served on the board of a Wal-Mart vendor, but resigned in 2007. That decision came days after her husband, campaigning for the presidency, announced he would not shop at the store, because of the wages and benefits it provided to employees.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid