Whole Foods launches 'Health Starts Here' initiative

by Eric Schroeder
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AUSTIN, TEXAS — Whole Foods Market has launched a new initiative based on following simple principles for everyday healthy eating. The program, “Health Starts Here,” will run in all 289 Whole Foods locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, and follows the company’s addition of a new core value to its mission in October 2009: “Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education.”

“We opened our first store 30 years ago to provide natural foods as a delicious and healthy alternative to the increasing amounts of highly processed foods with artificial ingredients,” said Margaret Wittenberg, global vice-president of quality standards and leader of Health Starts Here at Whole Foods Market. “Over the years, we realized that providing the healthiest foods available is simply not enough. We are now deepening our commitment to healthy eating by providing education and support tools to inspire interest in foods that help improve and maintain health and vitality.”

The program is based on three principles: plant-based, nutrient dense and whole foods.

“These commonsense criteria offer great health benefits, no matter what dietary path you follow,” Ms. Wittenberg said.

As part of the initiative, Whole Foods is offering two third-party healthy eating partner programs to provide easy-to-follow guidance for shoppers. The programs are “Eat Right America” and “The Engine 2 Diet.”

The program also will feature free information, recipes, in-store lectures, events and support groups. A selection of supporting educational books and cookbooks also will be on sale alongside the “Engine 2 Diet” book and “Eat Right America” program materials. Whole Foods said it also will help shoppers identify healthy, nutrient dense foods by posting signs with Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (A.N.D.I.) scores.
For more information on the program, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere.

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