Is Wal-Mart Becoming a Health Food Store?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Wal-Mart has recently agreed to offer healthier food options. Over the next 5 years Wal-Mart will be making changes to reduce the salt, fat, and sugar content of its ‘Great Value' brand of packaged foods. Plans include cutting sodium by a quarter and eliminating trans fats. Wal-Mart will be encouraging its' suppliers to do the same.

    This healthy move will also include lowering the price on healthy fruits and vegetables.


    Organic food options at Wal-Mart may even improve. The company has been working for a few years now to increase its' selection of organic options which will continue.


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    Wal-Mart announced this decision in Washington D.C. alongside First Lady Michelle Obama who has made healthy eating and physical activity her top priorities.


    This is great news for families trying to make ends meet on a tight budget. It's hard to select healthy foods when pricing makes unhealthy options more budget friendly.


    Does this affect you?


    Are you thinking - "I don't shop at Wal-Mart, so this doesn't affect me"? You're wrong. Wal-Mart (whether you love them or hate them) has a HUGE impact on food supply in the US market. Wal-Mart is the top seller AND purchaser or groceries in the United States. Even if you don't buy your groceries at Wal-Mart,


    Wal-Mart impacts the foods and prices available at the stores where you do shop. By taking on this initiative Wal-Mart may lead the way for other company's in the industry to follow suit.


    Wal-Mart isn't the first major corporation to take on the first lady's challenge and pledge to make healthier foods. Back in May 2010, ConAgra, Kraft, and General Mills all made similar pledges.

    Does this apply to Sam's Club?


    I wonder if these changes for the Wal-Mart brand also apply to Sam's Club? I recently moved to an area that does not have a Costco (the horror!) and had to downgrade to Sam's Club. It is so terribly frustrating to not have access to the healthier, organic, and environmentally friendly products and foods I use to be able to find at Costco. I really hope this initiative trickles over to Sam's Club and improvements are made the types of food they carry as well.


    I guess time will tell. Since Wal-Mart has such an enormous reach it'd be wonderful if they eventually had the reputation of a "health food store".


    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps provided by Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at


Published On: January 25, 2011