On January 20th 2011 there was a news conference in Washington, DC, where First lady Michelle Obama participated along with Wal-Mart officials. The news conference was on food availability and affordability that would provide lower prices on fresh fruits and vegetables, the very basis of the Mediterranean diet.
Wal-Mart will launch an aggressive initiative in two primary directions. They will promote healthier and cheaper packaged products that will have less sodium, lower added sugar and have all industrially produced fats removed. The other direction being the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable, by the lower classes, prices by getting into direct agreements with the producers/farmers.
The First Lady on the other hand believes that initiatives like the one by Wal-Mart complement and promote her program, Let’s Move, which aims to fight child Obesity and encourage the younger generations and especially kids to be more active. It is efforts like this, she said, that will promote a healthy living and will change the food preparation and industry in the USA.
All of these moves clearly show that there is a turn towards a healthy eating and living styles with the emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables and no industrial fat in conjunction with regular exercise, exactly what the Mediterranean Diet preaches.
Industrial fats have no place in the Mediterranean diet, a diet in which the use of Olive oil prevails. Wal-Mart will promote whole-grain cereal and whole-wheat pasta, two basic foods of the Mediterranean diet. Given the fact that Wal-Mart is a major retailer that controls 15% of the market, such a move will result to a healthier in the long term population. This will result to reduced incidents of diabetes and heart-related ones, which in its turn reduce the cost of health care.
So on January 20th we have witnessed and joint and conscious effort by the state and one of the major retailers, with a clear steering towards a healthy diet that is or is very similar to the Mediterranean Diet.