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Can Walmart make America eat healthier?
Backed by Michelle Obama, Walmart has pledged to make its packaged foods healthier and cut prices on fruits and vegetables — but some commentators are suspicious
 
First lady Michelle Obama endorses a new program that will provide Walmart shoppers with healthier and more affordable food choices.
First lady Michelle Obama endorses a new program that will provide Walmart shoppers with healthier and more affordable food choices.
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Many Americans make dietary commitments in January, but most of them aren't as powerful as Walmart, which has announced a five-year plan to cut salts, fats, and sugars out of its packaged foods, and slash prices on fruits and vegetables. The mega-retailer's proposal is being backed by Michelle Obama, a vocal advocate of healthy eating. Nutritionists tell The New York Times Walmart's plan could "have a big impact on the affordability of healthy food." Are Walmart's motives pure?

Yes — so give Walmart a chance: The "dogmatic anti-Walmart stalwarts" think the corporate giant "is evil, always was evil, and always shall be evil," says Joshua David Stein at Eater. But it's time those skeptics "put down their weapons." This action will undoubtedly help American families eat more healthily, which, "of course, is good news." The critics should recognize that.
"Can Walmart ever be a friend to the world?"

No, Walmart's true goal is simply to get bigger: This is just "a healthy Trojan Horse" for the company's expansion strategy, says the Neighborhood Retail Alliance on its blog. Walmart is performing a "massive bait and switch" to get more customers to shop with them instead of at their local grocery. And now they have government backing. Whether or not Americans lose weight, "Walmart's bottom line will be engorged."
"Walmart's healthy Trojan Horse"

Either way, the First Lady ought to tread lightly: Walmart's plan "could have a significant impact on the standards of eating," says Melissa Bell at The Washington Post, so it's understandable that the first lady would endorse it. But it's an "unusual pairing." Walmart has long been criticized for its "anti-union policies" and relentless expansion. The first lady should be careful that this "match made in health-food heaven" doesn't come across simply as a "celebrity endorsement of a corporation."
"Wal-Mart and Michelle Obama: endorsing a corporation or endorsing healthy food?"

 

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