images1 - Can Wal-Mart Save America's Eating Habits?Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at NYU, appeared on NPR‘s All Things Considered this afternoon to discuss with host Robert Siegel whether Wal-Mart’s announcement will change America’s eating habits and improve our country’s eating habits.

You can listen to the audio here.

The announcement Nestle talked about on the show is actually a set of five initiatives presented today at a press conference (which was attended by Michelle Obama), including:

  • Improve the nutritional quality of food by working with processed food suppliers to reduce sodium, sugars, and trans fat by 2015
  • Make healthier foods more affordable
  • Develop its own front-of-package seal to identify healthier products
  • Provide solutions to address the food desert problem by putting new, different kinds of Walmart store in low-income “food deserts”
  • Increase charitable support for nutrition programs

While it’s hard to say whether this will have a big impact on Americans’ health, at least in the short term, I think it’s a great move and I hope it will inspire other companies (both retailers and food manufacturers) to follow their lead.

You can read more at Marion Nestle’s blog, Food Politics. She delves more into some of the nuts and bolts and highlights a few of the key challenges and problems with these initiatives. For example, can we really trust Wal-Mart to create accurate front-of-label packaging? And are Wal-Mart stores in low-income areas really the best way to address the issue?

I’m curious to know what you think!

 

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