Physical health and mental health are key indicators affecting successful participation in education and employment, as well as decreasing the incidence of premature death in older adults. Healthy and well-educated children typically grow into healthy and well-adjusted adults committed to supporting their families and communities. Good health coupled with adequate nutrition allows children to focus on their studies and achieve more at school. It fosters productivity in working adults and contributes to the potential for increased earnings and financial stability. It allows older adults to remain independent members of their communities rather than relying on expensive institutional care. Conversely, chronic or acute health problems are a main cause of missed days at school for children (a predictor of dropping out of high school), increased absenteeism by working adults (a factor in job loss), and loss of independence for seniors.

Intended Results for Health:

  • Babies are born at low risk for preventable health problems
  • Children and youth receive timely, regular preventive health care
  • Youth and adults are healthy and avoid risky behaviors
  • Youth
    • Are not involved in violence
    • Do not use tobacco
    • Do not use drugs
    • Do not abuse alcohol or drive drunk
    • Practice abstinence or safe sex
  • Adults
    • Have good overall health
    • Do not use tobacco
    • Do not abuse alcohol
    • Do not have high blood pressure
    • Are not obese


While Vermont continues to be a leader in health, obesity rates here and across the country have been steadily increasing over the last ten years. Almost a quarter of adults in Vermont are obese, and obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers continue to be the leading causes of death in Vermont. Research proves that consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables and exercising the recommended amount of 30 minutes per day can prevent obesity.

Green Mountain United Way is encouraging communities to join our Building Healthy Communities initiatives throughout the five counties we serve to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities. Through partnerships with hospitals, clinics, education institutions, businesses, municipalities and other groups, we are working together to create community environments that support individuals and families in living healthy lifestyles.

For more information on Green Mountain United Way’s work in the area of Healthy Living, please contact:

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