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Clark Behind The Headlines

From HLN's Money Expert Clark Howard

Americans are talking the talk about wanting to eat healthier, but not necessarily living it.  But how do you know what's healthy?  It's really tough when you think about feeding kids and trying to make healthy choices that.

 Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket chain, has been experimenting with something that is really interesting. There is a nutrition score on each item for sale in the store. The higher the number, the healthier the item is.  And so, as you're shopping around the store, you can see, “Well, that one's a 26, this one's a 53.”  Kroger hired an outside service to figure out the nutritional value of each item.

 And the stunner is that within a category of products that normally would be considered healthy, the range is unreal. There were things in the health food section that weren’t any better for you than a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

 So the idea is, knowledge is power. You see that score and you can choose to either ignore it or not.  I think that's great. Nobody should tell somebody that you can't sell this, that, or the other. But if somebody knows that something is a low-calorie choice or a high-calorie choice, it’s their decision which one they want to buy.

 And so as Kroger does this, if it works, and it's in more and more stores, you will have the power to choose. The Wall Street Journal found out that Wal-Mart is planning to experiment with this concept as well. Wal-Mart is the nation's biggest food retailer. And so if Wal-Mart is able to make this work, it accounts for one in four grocery dollars in the United States.

 Will people choose to buy healthier?  Some will, some won’t. But it's important to have the option.

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