The following is a statement from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, regarding Walmart’s release of its “Great for You” nutrition icon:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation believes everyone has a role to play in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. I commend the industry leaders who are working to increase access to healthy affordable foods, and I encourage their peers to follow suit.
Healthy affordable food is good for business and good for health.
I congratulate Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, on the anniversary of its Making Healthy Foods Affordable initiative. Over the past year, Walmart has reformulated more than 150 products to reduce sodium and added sugar, cut prices on fruits and vegetables, and opened more than 20 new stores that bring healthy affordable foods to previously underserved “food deserts.” These are positive steps that merit positive recognition, and they especially will benefit those living in communities hardest hit by the obesity epidemic.
Today, Walmart unveiled its new “Great for You” nutrition label icon, which offers real potential to help busy shoppers cut through the information clutter and fill their baskets with the healthiest products available. When creating the “Great for You” labeling system, Walmart took into account information from a variety of trusted sources, such as important front-of-package work by the Institute of Medicine and the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
To ensure the widest possible benefit from its labeling experience, I encourage Walmart to share non-proprietary information about how the “Great For You” icon affects the choices consumers make when shopping. This information could be invaluable to the FDA and USDA, as well as others working to develop the best possible front-of-package labeling systems.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA
President & CEO