CBS HEAL Publications

The following list of published papers used data from the 2014 National Survey of Community-Based Policy and Environmental Supports for Healthy Eating and Active Living (CBS HEAL). They are sorted by topic and include a summary of the main findings.

Healthy Eating

Nutrition Standards for Food Service Guidelines for Foods Served or Sold in Municipal Government Buildings or Worksites, 2014

  • 3% of US municipalities reported having nutrition standards.
  • Prevalence was higher in municipalities with larger populations: 13% for those with 50,000 residents or more and 2% for those with fewer than 2,500 residents.

Community-Based Policies and Support for Free Drinking Water Access in Outdoor Areas and Building Standards in US Municipalities

  • More than half (56%) of local governments had a community plan to include free drinking water in outdoor areas.
  • Municipalities in the Northeast and South were less likely to have a plan. This was also true for municipalities with fewer non-Hispanic White residents (50% or less).
  • Municipalities with larger populations were more likely to have a plan.

Local Government Retail Incentives for Healthier Food Retailers in the USA, 2014

  • Two-thirds (67%) of municipalities reported incentives to support farmers’ markets.
  • Common incentives included:
    • Tax credits for supermarkets.
    • Permission for farmers’ markets to sell products on city property.
    • Links to revitalization projects for smaller stores.
  • Municipalities with larger populations were more likely to use incentives.

Associations between Food Policy Councils and Policies That Support Healthy Food Access: A National Survey of Community Policy Supports

  • 8% of municipalities reported having a local or regional food policy council.
  • Food policy councils were more common in municipalities with 50,000 or more residents and those in the West.

Prevalence of Municipal-Level Policies Dedicated to Transportation that Consider Food Access

  • About two-thirds (34%) of municipalities reported no public transit.
  • Public transit and demand-responsive transit were less common in municipalities with fewer than 2,500 residents and those in the South.

Active Living

Shared Use Agreements Between Municipalities and Public Schools in the United States, 2014

  • About 4 in 10 municipal officials reported a shared use agreement.
  • Municipalities with fewer than 2,500 residents were less likely to have a shared use agreement.

Prevalence of Complete Streets Policies in US Municipalities

  • 25% of municipalities had a Complete Streets policy.
  • Prevalence was lower in municipalities with fewer than 2,500 residents, those with a lower median education level, and those located in the South.

Prevalence of Master Plans Supportive of Active Living in US Municipalities

  • 89% of municipalities reported having a master plan supportive of active living.
  • Nearly half of municipalities had a transportation plan (46%) or a bicycle or pedestrian plan (48%). Prevalence of a master plan was lower in rural municipalities.

Supporting Active Living Through Community Plans: The Association of Planning Documents With Design Standards and Features

  • Prevalence of activity-friendly design standards in community plans ranged from 19% for dedicated right-of-way for bicycles to 50% for traffic-calming in places with high pedestrian and bicycle volume.
  • Features required in development policies ranged from 14% for short or medium block sizes to 44% for minimum sidewalk widths of 5 feet.

Public Health Representation on Active Transportation Bodies Across US Municipalities

  • About 9 in 10 US municipalities have a planning or zoning commission. But only 1 in 6 has an active transportation advisory committee.
  • Public health representation on active transportation bodies across US municipalities is low.
  • Active transportation bodies are less common in municipalities with fewer than 2,500 residents, as well as in those with lower education levels, those that are rural, and those located in the South.

Differences in Park Plans and Policies Across US Municipalities

  • About 7 in 10 municipalities with at least 1,000 residents reported having a parks and recreation plan.
  • Prevalence of a parks and recreation plan and of park or outdoor recreation policies were lower in smaller communities.

Methods: 2012 Pilot

Development and Implementation of a Local Government Survey to Measure Community Supports for Healthy Eating and Active Living

  • A 38-item, web-based, self-administered survey and sampling frame were developed to assess the prevalence of 22 types of healthy eating and active living policies in a representative sample of local governments.
  • A majority of respondents reported that the survey required minimal effort to complete. Half said they took the survey in less than 20 minutes.
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