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Rachel Johnson, Ph.d., M.p.h., R.d.'s Blog

February 9, 2011 - 11:19am

Walmart, our country’s largest grocery retailer, announced a couple of weeks ago its five-year plan to make the food and beverages it sells healthier and more affordable. Given that 140 million Americans walk through Walmart’s doors every week, this announcement is huge. I was invited by the American Heart Association (AHA) to participate in a conference call with Walmart executives the day of the announcement and was thrilled to learn that First Lady Michelle Obama had thrown in her support.

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What exactly did Walmart promise?

  • It pledged to reduce or eliminate some...
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January 31, 2011 - 12:13pm

Since so many of us have resolved that we and our families are going to eat healthier this year, I was troubled to learn that nearly 40 percent of the total calories our children eat each day, about 800 calories, are so-called “empty calories” with little nutritional value—or junk food. That’s far more than what most children have room for in a healthy diet, which ranges from 1,200 to 2,400 calories a day, depending on a child’s age, sex and physical-activity level. Sue Krebs-Smith, Ph.D., a researcher at the National Cancer Institute, found that the top sources of calories for American kids aged 2 to 18 years are desserts like cake, cookies, doughnuts and pie (138 calories/day), pizza (136 calories/day) and soda (118 calories/day). When she looked at...

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