Nutrition is a crucial aspect of living a healthy and balanced life style. Nutrition as well as Food Service programs provided by VA can aid in weight control and also focus on diseases associated with diet, including heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as kidney disease.

Accessing these programs is simpler than ever thanks to the advancements in telehealth technology like VA Video Connect, VA’s secure videoconferencing application.

Kari Mularcik, the chief of Nutrition Services at Central Ohio VA, has observed the positive effects of virtual nutrition therapy. A lot of Veterans have enrolled in these special nutrition programs due to their convenience. They might be hesitant to join if required to go to an VA facility however, the online aspect allows them to be accessible.

Only 10 percent of appointments are made in person

Today today, each VA facility provides online appointments. For example, at Central Ohio VA, only 10 percent of nutrition appointments are in person. This has opened up the doors to Veterans who appreciate the convenience and accessibility of an appointment via video.

“Instead of taking three or four hour off work to meet with us, clients could take a break from work and utilize 30 minutes to schedule virtual appointments,” said Mularcik.

It’s also beneficial for some facilities that don’t have the space to accommodate the number of appointments that are in person throughout the daytime.

Central Ohio VA in Columbus offers VA Video Connect visits before the outbreak of COVID-19. This is particularly beneficial to Veterans who reside in rural areas that are far distant from their VA facility. However, Mularcik stated that the number of Veterans who make use of VA Telehealth has risen dramatically from 2020.

Telehealth programs to provide nutrition health care

In addition to videos, VA offers telehealth programs to assist Veterans in their nutritional needs:

  • MOVE! is a nationwide program for weight management that assists Veterans establish weight loss or gain or goals for maintenance. Veterans are able to meet online in a group with VA experts.
  • The Home Telehealth program monitors Veterans health information remotely via connected devices. They include fitness monitors glucose and blood pressure monitors, smartwatches, and many more.
  • Healthy Teaching Kitchen is a virtual cooking class that teaches Veterans basic cooking skills that will aid them in maintaining an appropriate diet. The classes can also assist Veterans who have specific nutritional needs for those suffering from chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Find out more about the virtual healthcare alternatives for Veterans.