In support of our Mission to help people live the healthiest lives possible, we’re developing a healthier eating environment in our facilities. We'll begin phasing out sugar-added beverages, candy, and unhealthy snack options. We’ll continue to increase the healthy options available in our cafés, catering, gift shops, pharmacies, and vending areas and offer fewer foods that contain added sugar, salt, and saturated fats.

Our environments impact the foods we consume. Intermountain is promoting the healthiest foods to ensure we can make good choices whenever possible.


Why are we making these changes?

As a healthcare organization, and to support our mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible, we’re developing healthier eating environments in our facilities to promote good nutrition.

Who made the decision to transition to healthy eating environments?

Intermountain's Management Committee and senior leaders, with the support of leaders systemwide, made this decision. We believe as a healthcare organization, it's our obligation to promote and support healthy nutrition, and many other health systems across the country have already made this change, including Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente.

Who decides which foods are healthy choices and which foods should be avoided?

The Intermountain Food and Nutrition Guidance Council and the Clinical Nutrition Guidance Council are evaluating evidenced-based research and reviewing healthy nutrition guidelines from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and others to prepare comprehensive healthy nutrition criteria and select foods that fall within the criteria.

What foods will replace the high sugar-added beverages and foods?

We will continue to increase the healthy options available in our cafés, vending, gift shops and pharmacies and offer fewer foods that contain added sugar, salt and saturated fats. Candy will be replaced with many delicious and naturally sweetened foods. Healthy snacks will include snack bars, baked chips, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, fruit and vegetable cups, cheese and crackers, hummus, yogurts, and more. Sugar-free or low-sugar beverages such as diet soda, fruit flavored waters and seltzers, natural fruit drinks, natural vegetable and fruit juices, teas and coffee will be available.

Are we still going to sell diet sodas?

Yes. We're beginning this journey by focusing on added sugars. We'll continue to evaluate our food and beverage offerings over time.

Are artificial sweeteners just as bad as sugar?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in their position statement, aspartame consumption is not associated with adverse effects in the general population. Studies have found no evidence of a wide range of adverse effects of aspartame. The 2009 update did not find new studies meeting the inclusion criteria for this question and the Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweeteners workgroup (2009) concurs with the conclusion above formulated by the aspartame workgroup (2008).

What foods will patients be having?

In the past year the patient menus have been updated to offer delicious and healthy meals. We'll continue to offer healthy options while looking for additional opportunities to provide fresh, nutrient dense foods. Our patients have unique nutrition needs and we’ll be flexible to ensure we offer foods that support optimal recovery.

Can people bring their own food and drinks into Intermountain facilities?

People can bring their own beverages and foods. We are not trying to control people’s eating habits; we are working to create a healing environment.