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Walmart Cutting Food Prices, Reducing Sodium and Sugar

Teams with Michelle Obama to promote healthy foods

Wal-Mart announced Thursday that has initiated a five-year plan to reduce sodium, fats and sugars in thousands of its products and that it is also reducing prices on many healthy items.

The giant retailer says it was inspired by first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity.

Under the plan, Walmart will make healthier foods more affordable and will develop seals on the front of packaging to make it easier to identify the healthier products. The company also says it will add stores in poor areas that don’t currently have supermarkets, and generally increase its support of nutrition programs.

"No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford," said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's U.S. division, who spoke at Thursday's press conference.

Wal-Mart plans to reduce sodium by 25 percent, cut added sugars by 10 percent, and eliminate trans fats from its private label products. The retailer also expects to cut produce prices by $1 billion a year, mostly by pushing its suppliers to trim their costs

Mrs. Obama, speaking at the press conference in Washington in front of a colorful display of fresh produce and “Let’s Move!” banners, called the Wal-Mart initiative a huge victory for American citizens. "It's a victory for parents. It's a victory for families, but most of all, it's a victory for our children," she said.

Leslie Dach, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Wal-Mart, said the first lady was the catalyst that led to Wal-Mart's commitment.