Physical Activity & Nutrition

Physical Activity & Nutrition

Farmers' Market stall with greens and radishes

While Vermont usually ranks better than other states, obesity and overweight rates have gone up over the past several years. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. 

There are many reasons people become overweight or obese – but these conditions are best prevented by:

  • Eating healthy foods. People of all ages should eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day, limiting fat, sugar and salt.
  • Being physically active. Adults should have at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking every day. Youth should have at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day.

To see how we're doing in Vermont: Physical Activity, Nutrition & Weight Performance Scorecard

Vermont Food Standards and Vermont Food Standards Implementation Guide

During the 2016 legislative session, Act 113 was passed and signed into law. This Act requires that all foods and beverages purchased, sold, served or otherwise provided by the State of Vermont – or on behalf of the State of Vermont – will meet food procurement standards set forth by the commissioner of health. Food procurement standards for cafés, cafeterias, catering services and concession stands in state parks and historic sites are posted here.

Vermont Food Standards

Implementing Vermont Food Standards

3-4-50 and our work with partners

Lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating are two of the 3 behaviors (tobacco use is the third) that lead to 4 diseases (cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, lung disease) that cause more than 50% of deaths in Vermont. Learn out more about 3-4-50

  • We work with partners across the state to share recommendations and strategies for healthy eating and active living wherever Vermonters live, work, learn and play.
  • We promote evidence-based programs and actions such as creating healthy communities that provide lots of opportunities to walk and bike, and plentiful access to healthy foods.
  • We also help small worksites create worksite wellness programs for their employees, and work with schools and child care programs to help them provide healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.

In This Section

Being at a healthy weight can help lower your chances of developing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Schools share the responsibility with families and communities to provide students with healthy environments that foster regular opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. 

Healthy community design means planning and designing communities that supports active living and healthy eating, making it easier for people to live healthy lives.

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that Vermonters who are eligible for nutrition assistance, or SNAP benefits, will make healthy food choices within a limited budget.