The food we eat affects many aspects of our lives. There’s a direct link between poor nutrition and many of the leading causes of death in America such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
Healthy eating is important at every age. Most of us don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains, but we do often exceed the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium and sugar. The good news is that there are evidence-based fixes to get our families eating healthier. Public health can help kids eat well at school by providing children with healthy meals. We can help people make informed choices about what they eat. For example chain restaurants now post nutrition information about the food they sell on menus and menu boards. And we can help wipe out out food deserts, which are urban neighborhoods and rural towns that do not have enough grocery stores selling fresh, healthy and affordable food.
Many of our programs are already helping people make healthier choices. Our Empower program supports providers who are in a special position to empower young children to learn habits that can keep them healthy for life. Empower Schools and other public health programs work to support healthy eating and active living for students both at school and at home. The Arizona WIC Program and the Arizona Nutrition Network strengthen access to healthy and affordable foods in communities throughout the state, and the Arizona Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides Arizona Grown foods that are in-season now.