As governmental and health care organizations strive relentlessly to find new and innovative ways to battle obesity, it often seems like a bit of a David vs Goliath battle, in that one of the main combatants is the overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful commercial food industry.  The retail and food giant Walmart now promises to take steps to improve the quality of the food on their shelves, as a contribution to a healthier America.

Walmart is one of the biggest grocery retailers in the US, accounting for about 15% of the American grocery industry.  As a move to align itself with Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, they have pledged to reduce sodium, sugar, and fat in their store brand products by year 2015, and plan to push their suppliers to do the same.   They are also working on a front-of-package label that will identify more healthful products.   It is noted that other industry players have made similar pledges, but Walmart’s promised changes are particularly noteworthy in light of their substantial market share of the US grocery industry.

There is no doubt that we need the commercial food giants to be on board to help us shape a healthier society, and it is encouraging to see changes like this taking place!  Perhaps in a world where there are conscientious members of the food industry on our side, and where Subway has now surpassed McDonalds as the world’s largest restaurant chain, we will start to see lasting impact in our fight against obesity and related diseases.

Thanks to Brian at for the heads’ up!

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2011

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