Nutrition

Healthy eating is a key factor

Nutrition, balanced with physical activity, is the main factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Everyone needs food to thrive and stay healthy, and good nutrition will improve the quality and length of life. Unfortunately, many people eat more calories than they burn, leading to an unhealthy weight. Increased portion sizes, eating away from home, and availability of high-calorie foods all contribute to excess calories and weight gain. The Utah Department of Health is working to make healthy eating the easy choice by providing the latest recommendations on a healthy diets.

Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Initiative

Research shows that higher fruit and vegetable intake is linked to a reduced risk of developing chronic disease and improvement of existing chronic disease. The goal of the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) is to help patients access and consume fruits and vegetables more frequently. Health care providers prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients during routine clinical visits and issue a FVRx. The patient then takes their prescription to a partnering retailer where it is redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) information sheet contains additional information on this model and how to implement it in health care systems and food retail settings.

Choose Healthy Pantries: Opportunities to Increase Healthy Food Access in Utah Pantries

More than one in 10 Utahns are estimated to be food insecure, meaning they lack access to sufficient, safe, and culturally appropriate food for a healthy lifestyle. Food support systems, such as food pantries, offer support to food insecure households meeting income and geographical requirements. Food insecurity is associated with chronic, nutrition-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes; however, current data suggests pantry offerings are often nutritionally inadequate. The aim of this report is to evaluate current barriers to healthy food distribution in food pantries and provide future recommendations, with the goal to contribute to the health and resiliency of Utah communities through healthier food distribution.

Download your copy of Choose Healthy Pantries: Opportunities to Increase Healthy Food Access in Utah Pantries.

Food Pantry Managers Survey

The Utah Department of Health Healthy Living through Environment, Policy and Improved Clinical Care (EPPIC) program surveyed food pantry managers from across the state to learn more about the health activities they support, and the challenges of distributing fresh and frozen produce to patrons. Please review the survey results for additional information.