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Wal-Mart announces healthy food, cheap prices

January 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest grocer, says it's going to change the food it sells to help Americans eat a healthy diet. The company also plans to cut produce prices to make it easier to get fruits and veggies.Shoppers say they are paying more attention to what's in the food they eat but affordability is a big issue. That's why a five-year plan that Wal-Mart is kicking off could make it a lot easier to eat healthy.

Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the U.S. Thursday, the retailer announced plans to reformulate thousands of everyday food items to make them healthier. That includes reducing sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent, and removing trans-fats.

"I'm hypertensive, a person with a high blood pressure," said Monterey Park resident Aundray Hines. "I'm more aware of reading the packages to see the amount of sodium that's in there. So I prefer to buy the items that are low sodium and less fat."

The companies join first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to fight obesity.

"I remember standing in aisle after aisle in the grocery store, searching high and low for the best options for my family, feeling so frustrated by how the healthy choice wasn't necessarily the affordable choice," said Obama Thursday.

"I have two young children and we need to pledge this for the New Year, the New Year resolution is to kind of eat more healthier," said L.A. resident Jennifer Rosen.

Wal-Mart also plans to cut prices on healthier foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, saving customers about a billion dollars a year.

"People are more in a hurry these days, so they don't have a chance to eat healthy and that's good," said Commerce resident Lorena Casillas. "You see and you buy it, you know? It's great."

"It's a victory for parents, it's a victory for parents, but most of all it's a victory for our children," said Obama.

Wal-Mart says it will put a front-of-the-package seal on some of its food items to help customers identify healthier foods.