In the US, obesity has increased as diets have shifted toward nutrient-poor, calorie-rich foods, which are relatively inexpensive to produce, largely due to government subsidies, but costly to population health. Opportunities exist to provide healthy choices throughout the food system and reduce the costs and burden of NCDs. Current misalignment between the agriculture and heath sectors contributes to the economic drivers behind NCDs. Although the USDA recommends that fruits and vegetables make up 50 percent of daily food intake, they are currently grown on only 2 percent of US farm acres. One goal of agriculture can be to support long-term population health. Working to address the oversupply of empty calories in the US can help curb the obesity epidemic as well as decrease food waste.

Within the workplace, the content and price of foods can be levers for change. Employers can invest in the health of the workforce by offering healthier foods and reduced portion sizes. A focus on the productivity of working-age Americans within the food-health space supports the Vitality Institute’s mission. Additionally, partnerships with retailers, including Walmart’s “Great for You” Program, can help incentivize healthier food choices at the point of sale through offering a discount on approved food products.

The Vitality Institute supports research and dissemination information about health promotion and disease prevention by strengthening the link between the production, accessibility, and consumption of healthy food.

The Evidence

From the Blog

Maintain, Don’t Gain During the Holidays

What influences the foods you throw into your grocery cart or what your shopping list looks like? Does it depend on how hungry you are at the time? Who you are shopping with? It is... More »

Cary Conway and Adriana Selwyn | Dec 15, 2016
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From the Blog

Redefining the unacceptable: Making prevention of disease and promotion of health priorities

Blog post is based on Derek Yach’s TEDx talk in Monte Carlo on November 26, 2016 Governments and businesses spend more than 95% of healthcare costs responding to the consequences of neglected disease prevention and... More »

Derek Yach | Nov 26, 2016
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From the Blog

Canadian Leadership: The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion After 30 Years

The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, which proposed an international effort to achieve better health for all by 2000, celebrates its 30th anniversary on November 21, 2016. The tactics espoused by the Ottawa Charter, largely... More »

Gillian Christie | Nov 21, 2016
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From the Blog

Healthy Aging in Action: The Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy for Older Adults

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has released new recommendations to promote healthy aging in later life: “Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy”. The report highlights governmental policies and programs that... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Nov 17, 2016
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From the Blog

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle to Avoid Diabetes

Today is World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating... More »

Cother Hajat | Nov 14, 2016
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From the Blog

Cranberries: Save them for the Thanksgiving Table

Cold season is arriving, and many people are stocking up on vitamin C, a widely used cure for the common cold. However, the Cochrane Review found that routine vitamin C supplementation failed to reduce the... More »

Elle Alexander | Nov 10, 2016
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From the Blog

Rounding Up the War on Cancer

On September 28, 2016, The Economist hosted its second annual “War on Cancer” event in Boston, Massachusetts. The one-day meeting featured influential speakers, including Greg Simon, the Executive Director of the Cancer Moonshot Taskforce; Kyu... More »

Gillian Christie | Oct 7, 2016
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From the Blog

Protecting Heart Health on World Heart Day

Today is World Heart Day 2016, an annual event established to educate people on heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year.... More »

Cary Conway | Sep 29, 2016
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From the Blog

Accelerating Cancer Prevention

The World Health Organization estimates that the number of new cancer cases will rise by 70% over the next two decades. While the dialogue on cancer is too often on treatment, about a third of... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Sep 22, 2016
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From the Blog

Naturally healthy? From marketing to mouth

Food products today read like a dictionary of health-promoting words: natural; healthy; light; made with wholegrains; and the list goes on. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with defining these terms. Last week... More »

Adriana Selwyn | May 24, 2016
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