As I was browsing through the news this morning, I found an article where Walmart is going to add a “healthy” food label to certain foods telling you that they are healthy. Walmart said they are going to add a green label that says “Great For You” on predetermined foods and on their produce starting in the Spring. Experts on nutrition and health say that their criteria is pretty strict and the label will only go on about 1/5 of their products. Walmart is also working with their own producers trying to get trans fats, calories, and sodium levels down in their foods. I personally am not a Walmart advocate, but I give them props for trying to get people to purchase healthier options. I also believe that people should have some sort of idea what types of foods are healthy, but it never hurts to have a visual cue for people when they are choosing between similar products. Will this make America healthier? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
I think this is another attempt to label food after the “Smart Choice” label on hundreds of products was deceiving. This label tried to highlight the nutritional benefits of products produced by most of the nations largest food manufacturers. The “Smart Choice” label was added to several products, such as diet soda, sugary cereals, and baked goods among others that are now realized to not be healthy choices.
In my opinion, there are several problems with these labels:
1. People have individualized diets, so a product that is healthy for one person is detrimental to another. For example, millions of people have dairy intolerances, yet there are frequent marketing campaigns telling us how healthy dairy is for us.
2. The criteria for the products these labels can go on is too subjective. There are hundreds of ways to eat and even more ways to analyze nutrition. Froot Loops were able to have the “Smart Choice” label because they had an ample amount of Vitamin A, but does that Vitamin A override the amount of simple sugar that is in each serving? I personally do not think so.
3. It deters people from learning nutrition and health and thinking for themselves. People should never be relient on someone else telling them what is healthy for them and what they should do. People should know what is healthy without the labels and be able to pick out what they should be eating. I think those labels say “trust us, it’s healthy.” Don’t trust another agency to tell you what is healthy for you… I highly encourage people to do their own research.
4. The Criteria is Skewed. The label went on products like sugary cereals, but not on eggs because they were too high in cholesterol. There is always financial and political agendas when things like food labels come out. Eggs high cholesterol. People that are watching their cholesterol should be mindful of eating too many eggs or should eat egg whites. What they shouldn’t do is substitute eggs for Cocoa Puff cereal. The current labels go on the healthiest junk food. We’ll have to see what Walmart does with their labels; for now, I cannot speak about what they are going to do.
I encourage you to research what foods are healthy and think for yourself when it comes to these matters. Don’t just become one of the masses that follows along with the deceptive food practices of the United States.