skip to the main content area of this page
Missoula Measures
(406) 258-3686
Missoula County Seal and image of areas around the City.

Missoula County - Missoula Measures

Department: Missoula Measures
Missoula County Home

Missoula Measures - Nutrition

graph adults who eat less than 1 fruit or vegetable daily, US, Montana, 2013


Why this topic?

There is strong science supporting the health benefits of eating a healthful diet and maintaining a healthy body weight. The objectives also emphasize that efforts to change diet and weight should address individual behaviors, as well as the policies and environments that support these behaviors in settings such as schools, worksites, health care organizations, and communities.

The goal of promoting healthful diets and healthy weight also encompasses increasing household food security and eliminating hunger.

Americans with a healthful diet:

All Americans should avoid unhealthy weight gain, and those whose weight is too high may also need to lose weight.

Why are nutrition and weight status important?

Diet and body weight are related to health status. Good nutrition is important to the growth and development of children. A healthful diet also helps Americans reduce their risks for many health conditions including:

 Individuals who are at a healthy weight are less likely to:

Healthy People 2020

Diabetes, childhood obesity, anorexia / bulimia, and growing up in poverty are all issues that are effected by, or affect, good nutrition.

How are we doing?

A healthy diet consists of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, is high in fiber and low in sugar and saturated fats. Following national trends, Montanans are getting heavier. We consume vast quantities of soda, coffee, sodium, sugar, and fat-laden foods. To make matters worse, many people don’t even recognize the components of a healthy diet, and many of the undernourished are overweight. While many of us overfeed ourselves, other members of our community don’t have enough food. Under such circumstances, a healthy diet is unlikely, and it is most often children who suffer the consequences.


Healthy People 2020 Target

  Baseline 2008 Target
Adults at a health body weight 31% 34%
Adults eating fruit daily - per 1000 calories 0.5 cups 0.9 cups
Adults eating vegetables daily - per 1000 calories 0.8 cups 1.1 cups

The US Dept of Health and Human Services sponsors the Healthy People objectives,
 a science-based, 10-year national plan for improving the health of all Americans.

Related data

American adults consume about 36% of their total calories from fat; the Healthy Specific nutrition Information for each high school may be available from the school principal.

Back to Top

Eating Disorders

While over-eating is more common, purposely not eating enough is also a problem in our society. Anorexia and bulimia are characterized by a persons obsession with being thin. Approximately 3%-7% of young women suffer from this affliction at some point in their lives.

Factors that contribute to these disorders include

Some of the physical problems faced by those with an eating disorder include malnutrition, absence of menstrual periods, tooth decay, and osteoporosis.

Poverty & Diet

Poverty greatly affects the quality of nutrition Missoula families receive. Many children and adults have diets restricted to only a few kinds of foods and ingest less than optimal levels of essential nutrients.

Poor diets increase an individual’s susceptibility to minor infections, such as colds, and may hinder functioning at the highest physical, mental, and emotional levels. Young families and those headed by single women are at the greatest risk for hunger.

Just over half of those eligible for WIC (Assistance for Women, Infants, and Children) are aware of and use it. The Montana WIC program estimated that 35,663 infants and children were eligible for services, yet only 20,824 accessed the program.

Percent of Missoula school students eligible for free or reduced school lunch

Barriers to good nutrition


Related Websites

CDC info on Nutrition

CDC's Obesity Trend map

Links to health data, statistics and information from many national sources.


public health logo


Back to Top

Site Navigation

Health Department Divisions

 Missoula Measures

Search Health Sites