Walmart-They're not the Diabetes Police!

Tudiabetes is always filled with discussions about what we should eat and what we should not eat. Most of us seem to be bugged by people who comment on our food choices. We also have discussions and arguments about whether junk food, inactivity, and obesity cause Type 2 diabetes.

Well, I'm not going to give opinions on any of that serious stuff except to say that you don't need to worry about Walmart being the diabetes police. There was a Walmart insert in my newspaper this morning, and these are the foods that were advertised on the front page: pizza rolls, breaded chicken, orange soda, root-beer, and ketchup. And best of all, for under $16 you can treat the whole bunch to an 8-pack of orange soda, a huge box of rice krispie treats, a package of butterfinger candy, and mini boxes of Nerds candy.

I opened the flyer and thought I saw some bags of frozen vegetables. But no, it was 3 kinds of candy corn. Did you know that candy corn now comes in green in addition to orange, brown, and yellow?

I know that this kind of food is cheap, but do we eat so much of it because it's what Walmart throws at us or is it all they advertise because that's all we're buying from them? I suppose both things are true. But at least I know now I can go to Walmart to grocery shop and no one will ask: "Should you be eating that?"

It’s not only Walmart, it’s everywhere. All the companies “try” but it mostly goes unnoticed because they push their junk food. I don’t watch tv much, but when I do the commercials are so tempting. Being a mom of 5, it’s a hard battle to get my kids to eat healthy. I’m not giving up and eventually my kids will grow to love veggies and fruits. We’re making headway and I’m so happy that they are making some healthy choices.

When the local Walgreens started carrying "groceries" I walked up and down 4 aisles trying to find something edible. They had a small display of plain nuts and basket with a few apples. That was it. The rest was not just junk food, but awful junk food. The store reeked of sugar.

I guess I have a different experience with Walmart. In my area, the Walmart has been renovated and in place of a section that previously had contained prepared and processed foods, they now have a large section with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood.

As long as there are people that wish to buy "bad" food, there will be people that will sell it. I can't fault Walmart for carrying what people want to buy. And while we can argue about how some of agribusiness and retail has provided us with only "bad" food, I actually commend Walmart for taking this action and providing us with some "good" food (at least in my area).

It's not the store, it's the consumer. No business is responsible for what a consumer puts in his/her mouth. If people demand healthier foods, stores will carry them, especially if we STOP buying the bad stuff. But people still buy the bad stuff, and that means that the store will advertise and carry those junk foods.

Consumers have a lot of power, a lot more than we realize, but it's a collective thing. Imagine for a second if EVERY PERSON boycotted the purchase of junk food sold at movie theaters due to the cost and unhealthy nature of those foods. What would happen? The theaters would respond to consumer demand. If people stopped buying all the processed food at Walmart, but bought healthy items only, Walmart would start carrying more of those healthy items.

Some of this consumer demand can be seen depending on where you live. I live in the DC metro region and our Target has a slew of veggies, fruits, and other healthy food options. When I went to another Target in the south, I didn't see any of these fresh food options. That's because in the DC area, people tend to be more health-conscious than in the south.

What the consumer demands, the stores will provide. It's really that simple.

We don't have Walmart here but I have noticed that the supermarkets are increasing their junk food aisles year on year. I have noticed that the cheaper the store, the more junk.