Community Efforts

To reverse the obesity epidemic, community efforts should focus on supporting healthy eating and active living in a variety of settings. Learn about different efforts that can be used in early childhood care, hospitals, schools, and food service.

Early Care and Education

Improving the Early Care and Education (ECE) environment of child care and early education facilities may directly impact what children consume and how active they are, as well as help them develop a foundation of healthy habits for life.

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. Helping children develop good eating habits early in life helps maximize academic performance during the school years and promotes wellness throughout their lives.

There are many different programs and policies that can contribute towards the creation of healthy community food environments. These include providing incentives for supermarkets or farmers markets to establish their businesses in underserved areas, placing nutrition and calorie content on restaurant and fast food menus, and implementing and supporting nutrition standards for childcare, schools, hospitals, and worksites.

Physical Activity Community Strategies

Photo: Members of a community

There are many different types of strategies to increase physical activity in the community. These strategies include point-of-decision prompts to encourage use of paths or trials, individually adapted health behavior change programs, enhanced school-based physical education, and large-scale media campaigns that deliver messages by television, radio, newspaper, and social media. They may also include efforts to increase the places where people can be active, such as opening school facilities to public use and creating walking trails. Some strategies may involve community design changes.

Digital Health Interventions

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends evidence-based digital health and telephone interventions in community settings, worksites, and institutions of higher education to increase healthy eating and physical activity among adults who want to improve these behaviors.

School Community

Photo: Children in a cafeteria

To reverse the obesity epidemic, schools should focus on supporting healthy eating and active living throughout the school day. Learn about different efforts that can be used in the school community

Schools Can:


Photo: Employees in an office

To reverse the obesity epidemic, workplace efforts should focus on supporting healthy eating and active living in their own workplace community. Learn about different efforts that can be used to create a healthy work environment.

  • Worksite Physical Activity: A worksite wellness program that includes a physical activity component can help maintain a healthier workforce. Worksites can encourage physical activity through a multicomponent approach of offering management support, physical access to opportunities, policies, and social support programs.
  • Learn about supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. See Breastfeeding Promotion & Support [PDF-161KB] to find out how Health Care and Employment can support breastfeeding.
  • Healthy Food Service Guidelines
    Food service guidelines are used to create a food environment in which healthier choices are more available for consumers. These guidelines are used to increase the availability of healthier food and beverages, and to display them more prominently, so that healthier options are more accessible.
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