Eat Smart is part of the public health project to improve the health of Missoula area residents through education, partnerships, policy, and environmental changes. This program is part of the Missoula Public Health Department.
Eat Smart began in 2005, first funded through a NAPA grant and then through the City-County Health Department as obesity was recognized as an epidemic. The Eat Smart Missoula Program works closely with it’s counterparts “5-2-1-0 Let’s Move! Missoula” and “CATCH Missoula.”
Eat Smart’s mission is to improve the food and beverage choices made by Missoula area residents. Eat Smart offers community nutrition education, nutrition resources and presentations for schools and childcare centers, work-site wellness, and participation in health fairs and community events.
The coalition includes bi-monthly meetings that serve as a forum for community members with a vested interest in the nutrition environment. The goals of these meetings are: sharing information regarding best practices that promote healthy eating and chronic disease prevention, discussing factors that influence food and beverage selection by Missoula residents, and collaborating with community partners to implement identified strategies to improve Missoula’s nutrition environment. These meetings are open to the general public.
The program sends out newsletters to participants that have information from peer reviewed journals, dietitians, and health and fitness professionals. They also provide bone density screening and plan events for those wanting to get involved.
If you are interested in more information, you can call Rebecca Morley, Eat Smart Coordinator, at (406)258-3827 or visit their website at https://www.missoulacounty.us/government/health/health-department/healthy-people-healthy-families/eat-smart.
Eating healthy food is important because it provides the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Without the correct nutrition, your body will have to compensate, which raises your risk of diseases. Some diseases with an identified association to a lack of proper nutrients are overweight/obesity, tooth decay, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, depression, and eating disorders. Eating healthy foods and staying active play integral roles in staying healthy and avoiding disease.