The White House Press Office said Obama applauds and will help launch Walmart's Nutrition Charter with the objectives of bringing more healthful food to the nation's kitchen tables and conquering childhood obesity within a generation.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked whether President Barack Obama would feel comfortable buying goods at Walmart, where, as a presidential candidate, he had condemned Walmart's treatment of its workers.
Gibbs replied only that "a lot has happened since 2007."
Walmart's Nutrition Charter provides that by 2015 the company will reformulate products to improve nutrition by reducing sodium 25 percent and added sugars 10 percent from food items, and by ridding foods of all remaining industry-produced trans fats.
The charter also commits Walmart to reducing the cost of vegetables and fruits and other more healthful options, and to help consumers quickly make informed food choices by developing a healthy seal to be affixed to the front of food packaging.
The first lady shared some of the difficulties she has faced in providing healthful food for her own family.
"I clearly remember that one of the things that made my life just a little more difficult was trying to figure out which foods were healthy and which ones weren't. I remember standing in aisle after aisle in the grocery store, searching high and low for the best options for my family, feeling so frustrated by how the healthy choice wasn't necessarily the affordable choice," she said.
"I hope this move emboldens the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture, which should immediately pull the plug on partially hydrogenated oil and set reasonable limits on sodium levels in different categories of packaged foods," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington consumer advocacy group.