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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – The country’s largest retailer is going healthy. Thanks to a push from First Lady Michelle Obama, Walmart is now joining the fight against obesity.
“It’s a victory for parents. It’s a victory for families. But most of all, it’s a victory for our children,” Obama said.
That victory is Walmart’s commitment to reformulate thousands of food products to make them healthier. Executives promise that over the next five years, they’ll cut sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent and get rid of trans fats altogether.
They say they’ll keep prices low and cut the cost of fruit and vegetables by $1 billion a year to make them more accessible to low-income families.
Obama made healthy eating a top priority as soon as she arrived at the White House. She even planted an organic garden. This new project is a major push to bring that healthier lifestyle to the rest of the country.
Walmart said in addition to improving its own products, it will also pressure its suppliers to make healthier foods.
Critics say if Walmart really wants to fight obesity, it could make more dramatic improvements and faster. But the First Lady hopes a company with so much clout and 140 million customers will steer the rest of the industry down a healthier path.