Strategies

Policies and programs that work

60 Strategies
Clear all

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)

Match disadvantaged or at-risk youth with volunteer mentors in school or community settings
Some Evidence
  • Community Safety
  • Education

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 schools

Combine academic, mental and physical health, and social service resources in schools for students and families via partnerships with community organizations; also called community learning centers
Some Evidence
  • Education

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

Comprehensive school reform

Implement a coordinated effort to overhaul school operation, integrating curriculum, instruction, professional development, parent involvement, classroom and school management; also called school-wide or whole school reform
Some Evidence
  • Education

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Support the federal-state partnership that pays participating land owners an annual rental rate for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and introducing conservation practices on the land
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

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

GED certificate programs

Implement programs that help individuals without a high school diploma or its equivalent achieve a General Education Development (GED) certificate
Some Evidence
  • Education
  • Employment

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 pantries

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

HighScope Perry Preschool model

Provided high quality preschool with home visiting to low income, African-American children with an emphasis on active learning in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Some Evidence
  • Education

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

Later middle and high school start times

Delay school start times for middle and high schools to better align with adolescent sleep-wake cycles; often until after 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.
Some Evidence
  • Education

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

Mobile produce markets

Support fresh food carts or vehicles that travel to neighborhoods on a set schedule to sell fresh fruits and vegetables
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Multi-component groundwater management programs

Address soil and water quality concerns via regular groundwater monitoring, education about risks to groundwater, water quotas and taxes, and other efforts
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

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

Parents as Teachers (PAT)

Support home visits that teach parents about early childhood development and effective parenting strategies, with child development screenings, parental meetings, and links to community resources
Some Evidence
  • Education

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

Promise Academy Charter Schools

Create a school culture of high behavioral and academic expectations, with intense tutoring, increased teacher performance feedback, lengthened instruction time, and health care services
Some Evidence
  • Education

Rain barrels

Use ready-made or home constructed barrel systems to collect and store rainwater from rooftops that would otherwise flow to storm drains and streams
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

Restaurant nutrition labeling

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

School and district level zero tolerance policies

Require school officials to apply predetermined consequences for certain infractions, regardless of situational context or circumstances; consequences are usually severe (e.g., suspension or expulsion)
Evidence of Ineffectiveness
  • Education

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

School-based trauma counseling

Help students process trauma exposure and develop coping skills through individual or small group counseling with mental health professionals or school staff with trauma-specific training
Some Evidence
  • Education

Shared use agreements

Create contracts that support community access to existing public, private, or nonprofit facilities before or after business hours; also called joint use, open use, or community use agreements
Some Evidence
  • Diet and Exercise

Small elementary classes

Reduce the number of students in elementary school classrooms
Some Evidence
  • Education

Smart Start North Carolina

Provide comprehensive early childhood services, including high quality educational child care, health, and family support to address local needs
Some Evidence
  • Education

Smoke-free policies for outdoor areas

Implement private sector rules or public sector regulations that prohibit smoking outdoors or restrict it to designated areas
Some Evidence
  • Tobacco Use

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