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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

  • CDC Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity – Legislation‌‌‌‌ is a searchable dataset that contains nutrition, physical activity, and obesity policy data for 50 US states and DC from 2001 to 2017. The dataset can be downloaded and includes information related to state legislation and regulations on nutrition, physical activity, and obesity in settings such as early care and education centers, restaurants, schools, work places, and others. A bill or citation may appear more than once because it could apply to multiple health or policy topics, and settings, or the same citation can be used by different states. The dataset 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. Please note, as of June‌ ‌2016, data include only enacted legislation.

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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-4.9MB]
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.

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).

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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