Physical Activity & Nutrition

Physical Activity & Nutrition

Farmers' Market stall with greens and radishes

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are increasing in our country and state. These diseases, along with lung disease, cause over 50% of deaths in Vermont. These diseases can be reduced or prevented when people are able to eat healthy foods and be physically active 

It is recommended that people of all ages eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, while also choosing healthy fats, and prioritizing foods that are low in added sugar and minimally processed. Vermonters can further reduce risk and improve health by enjoying at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) for adults and 60 minutes for children and teens .

Vermonters who can access foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, while being physically active where they live, work and play reduce their risk of chronic conditions. The Physical Activity and Nutrition program at the Vermont Department of Health works to make these healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity more accessible to all Vermonters.

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.