23 Feb 2012

“Great for You” labels hitting the Walmart shelves this spring

Author: Justina Bucceri | Filed under: Localizing story, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

This photo is taken by Justina Bucceri in the Bowling Green, Walmart.

This spring, Walmarts around the nation are introducing “Great for You” labels that show customers healthy food options. These labels will appear on fruits, vegetables and Walmart-brand food items that are deemed healthy.

With the green labels coming to local Walmarts soon, the Bowling Green community will be more aware of the healthier food options.

The Bowling Green, Walmart has not adopted the “Great for You” labels yet. It will be receiving the labels this spring.

The green icon, which has been a year long development is apart of the company’s healthier food initiative.

According to Walmarts press release about unveiling their new green labels, they have also been working with national and private food suppliers to reduce sodium, sugar and trans- fats in their products.

Walmart stated not only will these icons make it easier for shoppers to identify healthier options but these options will be more affordable.

University of Toledo student, Jenny Brunsman, shops at the Bowling Green Walmart. She said she would pick items with the “Great for You” label if she could.

“It depends really on the month’s paycheck because healthier food is usually more expensive,” Brunsman said. “If I see the label and it is cheaper, I will go for that.”

Carrie Hamady, instructor and coordinator in Dietetics at BGSU said this is a good start but not a complete package.

She said college students struggle to stay healthy while at school because of over-consumption of unhealthy food and under-exercising.

“I have mixed opinions, sometimes people make things too simple,” Hamady said. “Consumers do what they are told and this is not a total balance for what is good for them.”

Consumers need to compare food options for themselves by flipping over both items and looking at the nutritional information, she said.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio is higher than many states in the percentage of obese adults in the U.S. In 2010 State Obesity Rates, Ohio was at 29.2 percent and back in 2000 Ohio was roughly 22 percent. Ohio is ranked 16th for the state obesity rates. Whereas, the national obesity trend for adults is 33.8 percent.

In addition, since 1980, obesity prevalence among children has almost tripled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

As stated in the United States Department of Agriculture in 2011, more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

In the Walmart press release, the nutritionists that have been working with Walmart encouraged them to make the criteria tough and significant. Walmart said they are confident that the “Great for You” icon balances those objectives with a variety of choices while keeping prices low.

“Knowledge is power, people need to take an active role of what they are putting in their bodies and be active,” Hamady said.



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