Strategies

Policies and programs that work

32 Strategies
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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, creative, musical, or physical activities that promote social interactions, regular attendance, and community involvement among older adults
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Family and Social Support

Breastfeeding promotion programs

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

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-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

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

Conservation tillage practices

Encourage methods of soil cultivation that keep at least one-third of cultivated soil covered with the previous year’s crop residue (e.g., mulch till, ridge till, strip till, or no-till)
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

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

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

Mixed-use development

Support a combination of land uses (e.g., residential, commercial, recreational) in development initiatives, often through zoning regulations or Smart Growth initiatives
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

Multi-component obesity prevention interventions

Combine educational, environmental, and behavioral activities that increase physical activity and improve nutrition (e.g., nutrition education, aerobic/strength training, dietary prescriptions, etc.) in various settings
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Multi-component school-based obesity prevention interventions

Deliver educational, behavioral, environmental, and other obesity prevention efforts (e.g., education classes, enhanced physical education, healthy food promotion, family outreach, etc.) in schools
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Nutrient management plans

Support site-specific plans for crop production that match nutrient applications to crop needs, typically with agricultural best management practices
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Permeable pavement projects

Use pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, open-jointed blocks or cells, or other permeable pavement in individual or commercial development efforts; also called porous or pervious pavement
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Physically active classrooms

Incorporate classroom-based physical activities, such as classroom energizers, into academic lessons or as a break, usually for elementary students
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Places for physical activity

Modify local environments to support physical activity, increase access to new or existing facilities for physical activity, or build new facilities
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Rain gardens & other bioretention systems

Establish bioretention systems (e.g., rain gardens, bioretention cells, green roofs, planter boxes, bioswales, etc.) to make city landscapes more permeable
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Safe Routes to Schools

Promote walking and biking to school through education, incentives, and environmental changes; often called SRTS
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

School breakfast programs

Support programs to provide students with a nutritious breakfast in the cafeteria, from grab and go carts in hallways, or in classrooms
Scientifically Supported
  • Education
  • Diet and Exercise

School fruit & vegetable gardens

Establish designated areas where students can garden with guidance, often with nutrition and food preparation lessons and opportunities for taste tasting and hands-on learning
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

School nutrition standards

Regulate the quality of food that can be sold to students via the National School Lunch Program, à la carte options, vending machines, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

School-based physical education enhancements

Expand or enhance school-based physical education (PE) by lengthening existing classes, increasing physical activity during class, adding new PE classes, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Screen time interventions for children

Encourage children to spend time away from TV and other stationary screen media, often as part of a multi-faceted effort to increase physical activity and improve nutrition
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Walking school buses

Arrange active transportation with a fixed route, designated stops, and pick up times when children can walk to school with adult chaperones
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

Worksite obesity prevention interventions

Use educational, environmental, and behavioral strategies to improve food choices and physical activity opportunities in worksite settings, also called workplace health programs
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise

Zoning regulations for land use policy

Use zoning regulations to address aesthetics and safety of the physical environment, street continuity and connectivity, residential density and proximity to businesses, schools, and recreation, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise