Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest grocer, says it will reformulate thousands of products to make them healthier and push its suppliers to do the same, joining first lady Michelle Obama‘s effort to combat childhood obesity. The first lady accompanied Wal-Mart (WMT) executives Thursday as they announced the effort in Washington. The company plans to reduce sodium and added sugars in some items, build stores in poor areas that don’t already have grocery stores, reduce prices on produce and develop a logo for healthier items.
Michelle Obama said the announcement has “the potential to transform the marketplace and help Americans put healthier foods on their tables every single day.” “We are really gaining some momentum on this issue, we’re beginning to see things move,” she said. Obama has a history of working with Wal-Mart. She once served on the board of Westchester, Ill.-based TreeHouse Foods, a food supplier for the store, but resigned in 2007 while her husband was campaigning for the presidency. Barack Obama had criticized the store over wages and benefits it pays employees.