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Policy Resources

Factors that affect individuals' physical activity and nutrition behaviors may be influenced by environmental and societal conditions. Public health practice and programs directed towards creating healthy environments can support individuals in making and sustaining healthy choices, thereby having a direct effect on their behaviors and health outcomes. The following links provide resources for professionals working to increase physical activity, promote dietary quality, and prevent obesity.

Resources Covering Multiple Topics

  • The Chronic Disease State Policy Tracking System is a state-based searchable database that provides policy information for preventing and controlling chronic diseases. Currently this database contains nutrition, physical activity, and obesity data. The database can be used to conduct policy research and help educate public health professionals, researchers, and decision makers about state-level policies and programs to address chronic diseases. The types of policies collected include state legislation and agency regulations.
  • State Legislative and Regulatory Action to Prevent Obesity and Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity [PDF-522 Kb] describes the methodology for updating the Chronic Disease State Policy Tracking System, and presents one type of legislative analysis that can be conducted using its enhanced search features.

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Physical Activity

Health Impact Assessment
This page describes the use of Health Impact Assessment to evaluate the potential health effects of a project or policy before it is built or implemented.

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Overweight and Obesity

Early Care and Education Policy Review [PDF-4.2MB]
CDC considers Early Care and Education (ECE) an important setting to implement childhood obesity prevention strategies. This policy review is intended to help educate public health practitioners, child care providers, and decision-makers about the current conditions that exist in their state and inform future efforts to prevent obesity in this setting. The report identifies potential actions in ECE programs to prevent obesity, provides state-specific child care demographics, and highlights enacted state legislation and current licensing regulation that impact the nutrition and physical activity environments in ECE programs.

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Other Policy Resources

Action for Healthy Kids: Wellness Policy Tool
This Tool is intended to help anyone involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating wellness policies by providing practical guidance and how-to information about the wellness policy process.

Active Living Leadership
Active Living Leadership was developed to support government leaders as they create and promote policies, programs and places that support healthy community environments and enable active living and healthy eating to improve the health, well-being and vitality of communities.

Local Wellness Policy Tools & Resources
Division of Adolescent and School Health
For wellness policies in schools, DASH provides models (school policies, how-to guides, employee wellness, how-to evaluate, etc).

Prevention Institute
Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy page.

SHPPS: School Health Policies and Programs Study
The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels.

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