Policy Resources

Public health practices and programs that create healthy environments and support healthy choices can directly affect behaviors and health outcomes. The following resources can help professionals working to improve physical activity, dietary quality, breastfeeding rates, and early obesity prevention.


Data, Trends, and Maps
Interactive database that provides national and state data about the health status and behaviors of Americans as well as environmental or policy supports. Categories are breastfeeding, fruits and vegetables, physical activity, sugary drinks, television viewing, and obesity/weight.

Physical Activity

Physical Activity Guidelines for American, 2nd Edition
Describes the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Strategies to Increase Physical Activity
Evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity across sectors and settings. Communities can use these strategies to support physical activity and help reach the Active People, Healthy NationSM goal of helping 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027.

Active People, Healthy NationSM Community Champions Resources
Actions to promote physical activity and active communities. Champions are state, tribal, and local elected leaders who can influence the use of strategies that work in their community.

Active Communities Tool
Action planning guide and assessment modules to help cross-sector teams improve built environments to promote physical activity.

Joint Use Agreements [PDF-1.36MB]
Best practices and success stories for joint use (or shared use) agreements, which allow residents to safely use existing community facilities such as playgrounds, gyms, and pools.


Food Service Guidelines Implementation Toolkit
Helps facilities implement food service guidelines, standards for healthier food and beverages in food service operations in worksite and community settings.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025
Recommendations on what to eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and help prevent chronic disease. The Dietary Guidelines are designed for policy makers and nutrition and health professionals to help all people and their families consume a healthy diet. The 2020 – 2025 edition provides guidance for healthy dietary patterns by life stage, from birth through older adulthood, including women who are pregnant or lactating.

State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2018
Highlights approaches to increase the purchase and supply of, and demand for fruits and vegetables. The report shows the status of 10 indicators of fruit and vegetable access and production for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also highlights state successes and provides strategies for improvement. Public health practitioners and decision makers can use this report to quickly assess how their state is doing and identify strategies to improve access to fruits and vegetables.


Breastfeeding Report Card
Compilation of data on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The 2022 report highlights select breastfeeding support indicators that can help families reach their breastfeeding goals, including supportive maternity care practices, state paid family and medical leave laws, and early care and education (ECE) policies.

mPINC Ten Steps Assessment Tool
Helps assess a hospital’s implementation of each of the Ten teps to Successful Breastfeeding using data from CDC’s Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey. The tool can help guide maternity care practices and policies that support breastfeeding and identify and prioritize quality improvement efforts.

Early Care and Education

Early Care and Education (ECE): Spectrum of Opportunities Framework
Guides states to help ECE facilities meet national obesity prevention standards. The framework identifies how states can embed obesity prevention standards into their systems.

High-Impact Obesity Prevention Standards
Forty-seven best practice standards that can be high-impact for childhood obesity prevention when embedded in policies and practices for ECE programs (including center-based and home-based programs). When included in state licensing regulations, these obesity prevention standards shape the policies and practices in ECE programs and among ECE providers.

State Childcare Licensing as a Tool to Support Obesity Prevention
Describes how licensing regulations can encourage widespread adoption of science-based practices that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

ECE State Licensing Scorecards
Assesses how well a state’s childcare licensing regulations support 47 best practices for obesity prevention. Scores are based on a state’s most recent licensing regulations and include four obesity prevention sub-domains: healthy infant feeding, nutrition, physical activity, and screen time limits. Scorecards can help identify where ECE regulations support high-impact obesity prevention practices, and where there is room to improve.

Early Care and Education State Indicator Report, 2016
Looks at how states are doing in 7 of the 11 areas outlined in the Spectrum of Opportunities to improve nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding support, and reduced screen time in the ECE setting. State health departments and other key ECE leaders can use the report to guide future efforts and inform decision makers about existing policy and system supports for ECE obesity prevention in their state.

Connect with Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity