Healthy Food Options Make Good Business Sense, Says Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today making the business case for providing healthy food options.

In the op-ed, she claims:

“Every day, great American companies are achieving greater and greater success by creating and selling healthy products. In doing so, they are showing that what’s good for kids and good for family budgets can also be good for business.”

Mrs. Obama cited measures major corporations have taken to improve access to healthier foods. Walmart has cut the cost to consumers of fruits and vegetables by $2.3 billion. The company has opened 86 new stores in under-served areas and introduced a new labeling program to help consumers spot healthy items on the shelf. Disney has cut ads for junk food from children’s programming and improved the food served at its theme parks.

Improving access to healthy foods is not just an opportunity to increase revenue, it is a chance to cut costs as well:

“We spend $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and a significant portion of those costs are borne by America’s businesses. That’s on top of other health-related costs like higher absenteeism and lower worker productivity, costs that will continue to rise and threaten the vitality of American businesses until this problem is solved once and for all.”

Mrs. Obama has made improving access to healthy foods and encouraging child fitness her priority since moving into the White House, and her Lets Move! campaign just celebrated its three year anniversary last week. She remains an immensely popular figure. With nearly 70 percent of Americans approving of her, Mrs. Obama continues to outshine her husband.

Now into her second term as first lady, Michelle Obama continues her fight for bringing healthy food options into American homes, schools, and businesses.