February 7, 2017

Utah partners with Intermountain Healthcare, grocery stores to promote healthy eating

Daily Briefing

The Utah Department of Health (UDH) has partnered with Intermountain Healthcare and Associated Food Stores (AFS) to create checkout lanes that feature healthy snack options.

Under the initiative, 43 of AFS' Utah-based grocery stores will launch so-called "Live Well Lane" checkout stands. The new stands will include dietitian-selected healthy snacks, such as fruit and low-fat dairy options, instead of candy and other single-serve foods typically located at checkout stands. AFS Corporate Dietician Ron Beckstrom said the 43 stores at first will each have one Live Well Lane, but added that the lanes could be expanded if the initiative proves successful.

According to Modern Healthcare, the program is intended to benefit all AFS customers but has a particular focus on promoting healthy eating among children.

Comments

Judy Harris, a nutrition consultant at UDH, said offering healthy food options at checkout stands "is a significant step forward in helping families make better choices."

Mindy Crockett, a dietician at Utah Valley Hospital, said the program tries to promote "foods that would provide more balanced nutrition" than the options usually found in grocery store checkout stands. "We know sometimes that sugary snack is what is going to hit the spot, but we want to provide an aisle for someone who is trying to resist those temptations," she said.

AFS CEO Neal Berube, a board member of Intermountain, said the program is "providing options for [AFS'] guests to help them meet their individual health goals" (Modern Healthcare, 2/4; Dodson, Daily Herald, 1/18).

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