Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Walmart Takes On Healthy Food Labeling

Sugary, Fat, And Salty Foods Won't Be Included In New Healthy Eats Label Program

A year after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give its customers an easier way to identify healthier food, Walmart announced this week the “Great For You” icon, a green graphic with a stylized jumping person.

The icon, part of the company’s healthier food initiative, is an effort to highlight healthy foods in its private label brand products backed by rigorous nutrition criteria.

“Great For You” will initially appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at Walmart U.S. stores nationwide this spring. 

By extending “Great For You” to fruits and vegetables and nutritious food options the company will make it easier for its customers to build healthier diets.

(Video courtesy of Walmart)

The icon on packaging provides customers with an easy way to quickly identify healthier food choices, say Walmart officials.

The icon serves as a guide to help people make incremental changes to their diet by encouraging more nutritious food choices. The science-based criteria use a two-step process: Step one focuses on encouraging people to eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds and lean meats. 

Examples of these items include brown rice, 1 percent milk, raw almonds and 93 percent lean ground beef. 

Step two limits the amount of total, trans and saturated fats, sodium and added sugars that can be found in items such as sweetened oatmeal, granola bars, flavored yogurt and frozen meals.

First Lady Michelle Obama Praises Walmart's Initiative

“Today’s announcement by Walmart is yet another step toward ensuring that our kids are given the chance to grow up healthy,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Just over a year ago, Walmart committed to save shoppers a billion dollars in their cost of fruits and vegetables and the fact that Walmart exceeded this number is a real accomplishment and a milestone in our efforts to support families eating better. In addition, the healthy seal will be another tool for parents to identify the best products for their kids. Giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices is a key piece of solving childhood obesity.”

The initiative includes reformulating packaged food to reduce sodium and added sugars and eliminate industrially produced fats by 2015; making healthier food more affordable by providing savings on produce and reducing the price premium on better-for-you food items; developing solutions for food deserts; and increasing charitable support for nutrition education programs.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    We need to give thanks to walmart so we can't get unhealthy and eat like organic foods.