WV officials hope putting nutritious food in unusual places will - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV officials hope putting nutritious food in unusual places will make state healthier

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Your first choice for healthy food options may not bring you to gas station.

Now, thanks to a 1.8 million dollar state grant, you will find displays in some West Virginia stores.

"They're starting to and we've had some good feedback on it," said Sue Casto.

Marmet Little General Store Manager Sue Casto is talking about this equipment made for healthy food options.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department placed it there with money from the grant.

Some shoppers like the idea.

"As a matter of fact, you probably wont believe this but I was just thinking about carrots coming up the road, I buy them often," said Gene Adkins.

Not everyone is buying the idea.

"I don't think its going to work because it's a gas station and I think most people are stopping for a soda and chips, quick things," said Donna Pallazola.

I took her concern to Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

"When you do social experimentation, when you do community-level work, there are going to be things that work, there are going to be things that don't work, but if you sit back and criticize everything, then nothing works," said Executive Director Dr. Rahul Gupta.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department serves 9 southern counties including Kanawha, Raleigh and Greenbrier.

The grant provides around $300,000 a year for its counties.

$10,000 is set aside to help put healthier food choices in stores.

Stores on-board with the program also signed contracts agreeing to sell healthy foods in the cooler while health department officials oversee the process.

"Why not offer it, if you don't offer it, you don't know if they will buy it or not," said Dr. Gupta.

State officials hope offering healthier food in these unusual places will lead to a healthier West Virginia.

The state is in its the second year of the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Kananwha-Charleston Health department has been trying out the healthy checkout aisle and convenience store initiative for a month.

They will monitor data over time to see if it's working.

A recent poll placed Ohio at 35th in the nation when it comes to health, Kentucky came in 44th place.