Carson City, NV - February 28, 2018
The Department of Health and Human Services urges Nevadans to participate in National Nutrition Month by learning about healthy food choices and portioning. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating healthfully can help manage and prevent chronic disease. A healthy eating pattern emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy, seafood and nuts, while limiting red and processed meats, sweetened drinks, desserts, and refined grains. A healthy diet is associated with a decreased risk for many health conditions, including Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and some cancers, which are among the top 10 causes of deaths in Nevada.
Recent efforts to enhance Nevada nutrition services include the formation of an interdepartmental Nutrition Unit to optimize nutrition programs, including education, for all Nevadans. The Nutrition Unit works to prevent obesity and chronic disease through implementing evidence-based strategies which encourage healthy behaviors and improved enrollment and nutrition education services among WIC, SNAP, and Medicaid clients.
In addition, effective January 1, 2018, the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy (Nevada Medicaid) added coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) provided by a Registered Dietitian. MNT is nutritional services for the purpose of addressing medically necessary treatment for Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, and Hypertension. MNT involves the assessment of an individual’s overall nutritional status followed by an individualized course of nutritional intervention treatment to prevent or treat medical illness.
The Nutrition Unit works to enhance health outcomes across the lifespan, including older Nevadans. Through the collaboration of multiple state and local agencies a Nutrition Programs Gaps Analysis for Older Nevadans was completed to identify and address the needs of Nevada’s growing older adult population. The analysis includes recommendations around three broad categories: policy, operations, and funding.
In Nevada, there are many organizations that provide access to healthy food for those who need assistance. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Women, Infants and
Children (WIC), and various food banks offer nutrition assistance to supplement the food budgets of eligible, low-income individuals. In addition, programs offer nutrition education and implement obesity prevention strategies to encourage healthy behaviors. According to recent reports, 34% of Nevadans were categorized as SNAP eligible, or 200% of the Federal Poverty level and 22% of Nevadans are enrolled in Medicaid. Additionally, half of Nevada pregnancies qualify for WIC.
For information on food assistance programs and about the Department of Health and Human Services, go to: http://dhhs.nv.gov/