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Nutrition: Strategies and Resources

Increase Access to Healthy Foods and Beverages

Initiatives to increase access to healthier foods and beverages in retail venues can improve existing stores, encourage placement of new stores, improve transportation access to healthier food retailers and/or implement comprehensive in-store markets and promotion.

Provide access to healthier food retail (grocery stores, small stores, farmers markets, bodegas, and mobile food retail)

Healthier food retail (HFR) initiatives can help increase peoples' access to places that sell healthier foods and beverages in underserved areas, including grocery stores, small stores, farmers markets, bodegas, or mobile food retail. Initiatives can involve creating new food retail outlets that sell healthier foods; improving the quality, variety, and amount of healthier foods and beverages at existing stores; or promoting and marketing healthier foods and beverages to the consumer.

Resources

	Older couple at farmers market

Program Highlights
Intervention Examples
  • Baltimore Healthy Stores
    Baltimore Healthy Stores (BHS) uses a store's existing facilities to improve access to healthier food and to increase consumers' knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions about healthier food choices and food preparation. This is done through health education and point-of-purchase marketing strategies
  • Healthy Cornerstore Initiative Produce Distribution System
    The Healthy Cornerstore Initiative increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables in corner stores by linking small stores with produce distributors on a year-round basis.
  • Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI)
    The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI) is a policy-level intervention designed to increase access to affordable, quality healthful foods in underserved areas of the state. The program provides critical one-time loans and grants for the development, expansion, or renovation of fresh food retail establishments, such as supermarkets or grocery stores. The FFFI also creates steady jobs for community members living in economically distressed areas.

Provide access to farmers markets

A farmers market is a recurring gathering of farmers selling their food products directly to consumers. Other produce markets may include wholesalers and retailers, rather than just farmers. These markets can be held on public or private land, in temporary or permanent structures, or may even be mobile. They may be set up in community locations, health clinics, places of worship, schools, hospitals, and workplaces; and can include locally or regionally grown items and fresh produce.

Program Highlights
Intervention Examples
  • Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Council
    The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition was formed to help support public and private policy-based changes that foster a healthier food system in Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • Health Bucks
    The Health Bucks program helps residents of low-income neighborhoods increase their opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables by providing a financial incentive for use at participating farmers markets.
  • Health Bucks Evaluation Toolkit [PDF-8MB]
    A Health Bucks evaluation toolkit was created to assist farmers' market incentive programs in designing and implementing evaluations. The tools can be adapted for incentive programs of various sizes, and can be scaled to guide both small and large evaluations depending on available resources.

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Promote Adoption of the Food Service Guidelines or Other Nutrition Standards

The Food Service Guidelines (FSG) or nutrition standards are guidelines for organizations or programs to create healthy eating and drinking environments in government-managed cafeterias, snack bars, and vending machines. The guidelines can be applied to non-government settings as well, including universities, hospitals, or worksite cafeteria or vending settings. Use of pricing incentives, promotional materials, or food placement strategies is important for guideline implementation.

Implement nutrition standards/food services guidelines in priority settings (Early Care and Education, Workplaces, Communities)

Resources
Program Highlights
Intervention Examples

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Food Service Guidelines

Every day, millions of Americans buy or are served food and beverages at their workplaces, or in other community settings such as hospitals, parks and recreation areas. Making changes to the types of food and beverages available in these settings can improve the diets of people who eat there. Food service guidelines are used to create a food environment in which healthier choices are made easier for consumers. These guidelines are used to increase the availability of healthier food and beverages, and to display them more prominently, to increase the likelihood that healthier options are selected by customers.

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Healthy Hospital Environments

DNPAO works with partners across the country to promote improvements in hospital environments, and ensure that the healthier choice is the easier choice. DNPAO has developed tools to assist hospitals in conducting food, beverage, and physical activity environment assessments for prioritizing and implementing change. Hospitals reach a large population of employees, patients and visitors and can have an impact on neighboring communities. This makes them an important setting for obesity-prevention efforts.

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Salad Bars to Schools

Salad Bars to Schools is a unique public-private partnership to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level to promote and sponsor salad bars in schools. School children eat more fruits and vegetables when they have a variety of choices, such as those provided in a self-serve salad bar. By supporting Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools’ mission to increase the prevalence of salad bars in schools across the country, CDC aims to ensure every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables each day at school.

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General Nutrition Resources

Links to non-federal government organizations found in this document are provided solely as a service to the reader. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization sites listed on this website.

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