This resource was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2009. This manual describes 24 recommended strategies by the CDC to encourage and support healthy eating and active living. In addition, a single measure is provided for each strategy to help communities track their progress over time. This resource is the result of an innovative and collaborative process that seeks to reverse the U.S. obesity epidemic by transforming communities into places where healthy lifestyle choices are easily incorporated into everyday life.
In order for local governments to target strategic investments that promote healthy eating and active living in their communities, they need information about the current conditions in their community that could be improved to better facilitate the health of their citizens. In addition, communities need tools to track their progress over time and to compare themselves to other similar communities on measures of environmental and policy change for obesity prevention. Accordingly, the 24 strategies and measures presented in this manual are designed to meet these needs.
More specifically, the strategies and measures can be used by local governments and communities in three ways:
1. For baseline assessment: Do the policies and environmental conditions in our community currently promote active living and healthy eating? How do our policies and environmental conditions compare to other communities of similar size, type, and population?
2. To identify priorities for action: What aspects of our environment are in greatest need of improvement to promote the health of our citizens? Which strategies should we choose to implement to become a healthier community?
3. To measure change over time: Are we making progress from year to year in changing policies and environmental conditions to promote active living and healthy eating?
The 24 strategies and measures presented in this manual are divided into 6 categories that represent different aspects of the physical and food environments. Each strategy is paired with one measure.