Strategies

Policies and programs that work

106 Strategies
Clear all

Active recess

Establish a break from the school day, typically before lunch, that involves planned, inclusive, actively supervised games or activities; also called semi-structured, or structured recess
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Activity programs for older adults

Offer group educational, social, or physical activities that promote social interactions, regular attendance, and community involvement among older adults
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Family and Social Support

Affordable housing tax increment financing (TIF)

Create designated tax districts that generate revenue to invest in affordable housing initiatives, blight remediation, and economic development efforts
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Automated speed enforcement cameras

Use devices such as speed cameras, laser devices, radar, etc. to enforce speed limits; devices can be permanent fixtures or be used manually by law enforcement officers
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Community Safety

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

Breastfeeding promotion programs

Provide education, information, counseling, and support for breastfeeding to women throughout pre- and post-natal care
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Carpool & rideshare programs

Help commuters share transportation through informal arrangements between individuals, formally arranged dynamic ridesharing programs, or other ride-matching services
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality
  • Housing and Transit

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 Development Block Grants (CDBGs)

Provide funding for local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Community fitness programs

Offer exercise classes (e.g., yoga, Tai Chi, cycling, etc.) and fitness program support in community centers, senior centers, fitness, and community wellness centers
Scientifically Supported
  • 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 kitchens for food processing

Establish shared kitchen spaces that support licensed, commercial food processing and connect specialty food processors, farmers, and others who produce value-added goods
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Community kitchens for nutrition education

Use existing kitchen spaces for community members to share knowledge, resources, and labor to prepare, cook, and consume food, often with nutrition education provided for participants experiencing food insecurity
Insufficient Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Community land trusts

Purchase land to lease to low and middle income homeowners and require them to sell the home back to the CLT or to another low income resident at an affordable price.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Community supported agriculture (CSA)

Establish partnerships between farmers and consumers in which consumers purchase a share of a farm’s products in advance
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Community weight loss challenges

Support temporary programs that work to energize participants to lose weight via prizes, often combined with education, weight status and food intake tracking, regular check-ins, and group support
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Community-based social support for physical activity

Build, strengthen, and maintain social networks that provide supportive relationships for behavior change through walking groups or other community-based interventions
Scientifically Supported
  • 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

Competitive pricing for healthy foods

Assign higher costs to non-nutritious foods than nutritious foods via incentives, subsidies, or price discounts for healthy foods and beverages or disincentives or price increases for unhealthy choices
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Complete Streets & streetscape design initiatives

Enhance streetscapes with greater sidewalk coverage and walkway connectivity, street crossing safety features, traffic calming measures, and other design elements
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • 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

Electronic Benefit Transfer payment at farmers markets

Enable farmers markets to accept EBT, the electronic payment system of debit cards used to issue and redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Exercise prescriptions

Provide patients with prescriptions for exercise plans, often accompanied by progress checks at office visits, counseling, activity logs, and exercise testing
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

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, vouchers, 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

Food buying clubs & co-ops

Offer opportunities for group purchase and distribution of selected grocery items, generally at a reduced price
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Food hubs

Support businesses or organizations that aggregate, distribute, and market local and regional food products (e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, grains, and prepared items)
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Fruit & vegetable gleaning initiatives

Gather food left in fields after a primary harvest, food in fields where harvesting is not profitable, or excess produce from orchards, packing houses, urban agriculture sites, etc.
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Fruit & vegetable incentive programs

Offer low income participants matching funds to purchase healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables; often called bonus dollars, market bucks, produce coupons, or nutrition incentives
Scientifically Supported
  • 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 foods at catered events

Provide more fresh fruits and vegetables, smaller portions, low fat, and reduced sodium or reduced sugar food options and other healthy foods at catered events
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise

Healthy home environment assessments

Train volunteers, professionals, or paraprofessionals to help residents assess and remediate environmental home health risks and recommend low cost changes (e.g., improved ventilation, integrated pest management, etc.)
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

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

HOME Investment Partnership Program

Provide grants to states and localities to fund activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low income households
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

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

Household lead control education interventions

Inform parents about lead exposure pathways and cleaning and hygiene techniques and undertake minor repairs or specialized cleaning
Evidence of Ineffectiveness
  • Housing and Transit

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Provide eligible low and very low income families with vouchers to help cover the costs of rental housing; also called Section 8
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Housing First

Provide rapid access to permanent housing and support (e.g., crisis intervention, needs assessment, case management), usually for chronically homeless individuals with persistent mental illness or substance abuse issues
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Housing mediation services

Facilitate mediation between tenants and landlords to resolve conflict and prevent eviction
Insufficient Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Housing rehabilitation loan & grant programs

Provide funding, primarily to low or median income families, to repair, improve, or modernize dwellings and remove health or safety hazards
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Housing trust funds

Support funds that help create or maintain low income housing, subsidize rental housing, and assist low income homebuyers and non-profit housing developers
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Inclusionary zoning & housing policies

Require developers to reserve a proportion of housing units for low income residents via mandatory requirements or incentives such as density bonuses
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit