Would you trust Wal-Mart with your nutrition decisions?

Here’s an issue that nutritionists might agree on… When it comes to nutrition issues, there’s no agreement.

So where should you turn for nutrition guidance?

I’ll bet “Wal-Mart” was not the first answer that sprung to mind.

This year Wal-Mart shoppers started seeing “Great For You” icons on many food product labels.

According to a W-M press release, items with the icon have met “rigorous nutrition criteria.” This nutrition wisdom comes from the FDA, USDA, Institute of Medicine and others.

From that Tower of Nutrition Babel we get a variety of Great For You items. They include Crunchy Nugget cereal, macaroni, and canned fruits and vegetables.

Personally, I’d label those with a “Probably Not So Great For You” icon.

Wal-Mart’s system to help shoppers choose healthy foods won’t settle any nutrition arguments. But it will produce one obvious benefit.

W-M sells name brands alongside their own brands. But only W-M brands will display the Great For You icon.

Wal-Mart is touting the convenience of picking healthy foods by looking for the GFY icon. Do you suppose that might lead shoppers to believe that the Wal-Mart brand is healthier than other brands?

Well played, Wal-Mart. Nutritionally, you’ve done nothing. But the marketing ploy is golden.

Sources:
“Wal-Mart Creates Icon For Food Packages To Encourage Healthful Choices” Alison Aubrey, NPR, 2/7/12, npr.org

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