James Bailey III


(Jeffrey MacMillan/for The Washington Post)
September 27, 2013

Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese. But after decades of rising rates, we may be turning a corner on the health crisis. Experts across fields gathered at Washington Post Live’s 2013 Childhood Obesity Summit to discuss strategies resulting in healthier children.

James Bailey III, Director, Wal-Mart food and agriculture

We realized that there’s a lot we can do as a business outside the heavy hand of regulation.

We came up with some things that we could work on. Sodium is obviously a huge contributor to heart disease and hypertension. So we worked with our suppliers to reduce sodium; our goal is 25 percent over five years. In the first couple of years, we’ve been able to reduce sodium by 9 percent. More specifically, bread is the biggest contributor of sodium in American diets. In our commercial bread category, we’ve been able to reduce that 35 percent in two years.

We’ve also committed to eliminate all industrially produced trans fats by the end of 2015.

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