Strategies

Policies and programs that work

36 Strategies
Clear all

Bike & pedestrian master plans

Establish a framework to increase walking and biking trails and improve connectivity of non-auto paths and trails in a particular area
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

College-based obesity prevention educational interventions

Support multi-component educational interventions for college students that address nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight management; often with environmental modifications
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Community gardens

Establish and support land that is gardened or cultivated by community members via community land trusts, gardening education, zoning regulation changes, or service provision (e.g., water or waste disposal)
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Community-wide physical activity campaigns

Engage a variety of partners in a highly visible, multi-component effort to increase physical activity, often with efforts to address cardiovascular disease risk factors
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Debt advice for tenants with unpaid rent

Offer debt advice from trained providers to tenants with unpaid, overdue rent to help repay debt and increase financial literacy
Some Evidence
  • Income
  • Housing and Transit

Extracurricular activities for physical activity

Provide chances for kids and adolescents to be active and play sports at various skill levels via structured or unstructured after and before school athletic activities
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Family-based physical activity interventions

Increase family members’ support for physical activity, often via educational sessions on health, goal-setting, problem-solving, or family behavioral management
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Farm to school programs

Incorporate locally grown foods into school meals and snacks, often with visits from food producers, cooking classes, nutrition and waste reduction efforts, and school gardens
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Farmers markets

Support multiple vendor markets where producers sell goods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy items, and prepared foods directly to consumers
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Financial rewards for employee healthy behavior

Offer payments, credits toward health insurance premiums, or other financial rewards to encourage employees to lose weight, eat more healthily, quit smoking, engage in physical activity, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Fruit & vegetable taste testing

Offer samples of fresh fruits and vegetables in cafeterias, nutrition classes, school gardens, or workplace well-being meetings, often as part of a multi-faceted nutrition intervention
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Green space & parks

Increase recreational green space through new parks or open spaces, renovation or enhancement of under-used recreation areas, rehabilitation of vacant lots, brownfields, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Healthy food in convenience stores

Encourage convenience stores, corner stores, or gas station markets to carry fresh produce and other healthier food options
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Healthy food initiatives in food banks

Combine hunger relief efforts with nutrition information and healthy eating opportunities, often with on-site cooking demonstrations, recipe tastings, produce display stands, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Healthy school lunch initiatives

Modify the school lunch food environment by prominently displaying, marketing, and increasing the convenience of healthy foods and providing healthy options
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Healthy vending machine options

Increase healthy options in vending machines by reducing the price of healthy choices, increasing the number of healthy choices compared to unhealthy choices, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Homework or extra credit for PE class

Assign homework or extra credit activities for physical education (PE) or health classes that require students to be physically active outside of school
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Support subsidized asset accumulation programs in which deposits by low and moderate income participants are matched by program sponsors; withdrawals must be used for qualified expenses to retain matching funds
Some Evidence
  • Income

Land banking

Acquire, hold, manage, and develop properties such as vacant lots, abandoned buildings, or foreclosures, and transition them to productive uses, often affordable housing developments.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

Living wage laws

Establish locally mandated wages that are higher than state or federal minimum wage levels
Some Evidence
  • Income

Matched dollar incentives for saving tax refunds

Support programs that provide matched dollar incentives for low or moderate income individuals to place some or all of their tax refund in a savings account
Some Evidence
  • Income

Multi-component workplace supports for active commuting

Provide physical infrastructure (e.g., bike parking or showers), educational or social support (e.g., walking groups), and financial incentives that support active commuting
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

New grocery stores in underserved areas

Attract new grocery stores that sell a variety of fresh foods, baked goods, packaged, and frozen items to underserved areas via financing initiatives, tax incentives, or zoning regulation
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

New Hope Project

Provided work supports for low income individuals and families (e.g., job search assistance, transitional jobs, subsidized child care, health insurance, etc.); participants worked at least 30 hours/week
Some Evidence
  • Income

Point-of-purchase prompts for healthy foods

Place motivational signs on posters, front of package labels, or shelf labels near fruits, vegetables and other items that encourage individuals to purchase healthier food options
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Restaurant nutrition labeling

Provide nutrition information on menus and signboards at restaurants and other food outlets
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

School food & beverage restrictions

Limit access to competitive foods and beverages in schools via restrictions on foods that are not provided through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

School-based nutrition education programs

Address nutrition in schools via educational (e.g., classroom or curricula-wide efforts, peer training, etc.), environmental (e.g., school menus, classroom snacks, etc.), and other approaches
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Shared use agreements

Create contracts that support community access to existing facilities (e.g., schools, churches, etc.) before or after business hours; also called joint use, open use, or community use agreements
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Sugar sweetened beverage taxes

Increase the price of sugar sweetened beverages (e.g., soda) by adding an excise or sales tax to the current price
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Unemployment insurance (UI)

Extend or raise the compensation provided to eligible, unemployed workers looking for jobs
Some Evidence
  • Income

Unhealthy snack taxes

Increase the price of snack products high in sugar and fat by adding an excise or sales tax to the current price
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Water availability & promotion interventions

Make water readily available in various settings via regular placement of drinking fountains, water coolers, bottled water in vending machines, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

WIC & Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs

Support Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs, which provide WIC and Senior Nutrition Program participants with coupons for fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Workplace supports for breastfeeding

Support breastfeeding via private, well-equipped lactation spaces in workplaces, along with breastfeeding breaks, flexible schedules, professional lactation support, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise