By Mikala Lindhardt
Beginning next year, the Shop Healthy Program will partner with the Hispanic community to continue its efforts to promote healthier living.
Jennie Murr, the dietician for Bear River Health Department, met with owners of La Ranchera and La Racherita earlier this month to make plans encouraging healthier shopping by placing whole grain, low fat and low sodium items near check-out stands.
“The owner was very excited about being able to promote healthier items in both stores,” Murr said.
According to Holly Budge, the public health resource manager for Bear River Health Department, the goal of the Shop Healthy program is to change the retail environment and help people buy foods that are better for them.
Three local stores in Cache Valley began making changes last September. Macey’s, Theurers Market and the Island Market have changed check-out aisles to have healthier snacks such as apples, nuts and water.
There has also been signage placed around the store to prompt buyers to choose healthier products.
According to a Center for Disease Control report, 86 million adults have pre-diabetes and nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it.
“If we don’t do something to treat all those pre-diabetic cases then that’s our next epidemic,” Budge said.
Just three months into the program, the health department is happy with the success thus far and is looking for it to grow and include more businesses.
“This has been a great program to get started in our community,” Murr said. “I am hopeful that it will continue to expand.”