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(article, Culinate staff)
Earlier this year, Walmart announced sweeping plans to make its house-brand products healthier and to lower prices on fresh produce. The five-year project was bolstered by talks with Michelle Obama, who has made reducing childhood obesity her chief goal as First Lady. Walmart also declared that it would put pressure on large food manufacturers, such as Kraft, to improve the nutritional quality of their processed foods. As the New York Times noted, bq. Wal-Mart is hardly the first company to take such steps; ConAgra Foods, for example, has promised to reduce sodium content in its foods by 20 percent by 2015. But because Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the country, and because it is such a large purchaser of foods produced by national suppliers, nutrition experts say the changes could have a big impact on the affordability of healthy food and the health of American families and children. Some say the company has almost as much power as federal regulators to shape the marketplace.