(Relaxnews) – The largest retailer in the world has received a ringing endorsement from First Lady Michelle Obama for the launch of its new front-of-the-pack label that will appear on products that meet dietary and nutritional guidelines for healthy eating.
On February 7, big-box retailer Walmart unveiled its new “Great For You” icon, designed to help customers identify healthier choices in the food aisles.
The logo will appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside brands as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables across the US by spring.
Walmart’s announcement comes one week after cereal maker Kellogg’s also launched its “Kellogg’s Heart Healthy Selection” logo, which will appear on nine fiber-rich cereals that the company has deemed to be heart-healthy, including Raisin Bran, All Bran and FiberPlus.
First Lady Michelle Obama applauded Walmart’s overall health strategy, which has been over a year in the making, calling it a another step towards curbing the epidemic of childhood obesity in the US.
“…the healthy seal will be another tool for parents to identify the best products for their kids. Giving parents the information they need to make healthy choices is a key piece of solving childhood obesity,” she said in a statement.
According to Walmart, its healthy label program was developed with guidance from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the US Food and Drug Administration, US Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine, as well as consultations with food and nutrition experts and health organizations.
Expect to see the logo on foods that encourage consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean meat and dairy, including brown rice, 1 percent milk, almonds and lean ground beef. Products high in trans and saturated fats, sodium and added sugars like sweetened oatmeal, granola bars, flavored yogurts and frozen meals will be limited.
Front-of-the-pack health labels differ in markets around the world. Major grocery store retailer Asda in the UK, for instance, uses a color-coded logo system, while some products in Canada carry a “Health Check” logo signaling that they have the seal of approval from the country’s Heart and Stroke Foundation.
But health labels aren’t surefire guarantees. In Canada, the “Health Check” symbol has been the subject of scrutiny after being found on foods like French fries, high-sodium canned soups, microwave popcorn and frozen foods.