Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, has announced a five year plan to promote healthier foods in its stores.

The plan sets specific targets for lowering sodium, trans fats and added sugars in many foods packaged under the company’s house brand, Great Value. Wal-Mart will also lower prices on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Company officials said the plan would be implemented slowly over a period of five years, to give consumers time to adjust to the new taste of the food.

”It doesn’t do you any good to have healthy food if people don’t eat it,” said Wal-Mart’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Leslie Dach.

The initiative has the backing of the White House, in particular, First Lady Michelle Obama. She has made healthy eating and childhood obesity the centerpiece of her “Let’s Move” agenda.

Wal-Mart’s goal is to reduce sodium by 25 percent, eliminate industrially added trans fats and reduce added sugars by 10 percent by 2015.

Many nutritional experts are optimistic that the plan could have a big impact on the affordability of healthy food and the health of families and children in this country, as Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the U.S.

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Photo Credit: By Sprew, via Wikimedia Commons