To implement this recommendation:

  • Private and public efforts to eliminate health disparities should include obesity prevention as one of their primary areas of focus and should support community-based collaborative programs to address social, economic, and environmental barriers that contribute to the increased obesity prevalence among certain populations.

  • Community child- and youth-centered organizations should promote healthful eating behaviors and regular physical activity through new and existing programs that will be sustained over the long term.

  • Community evaluation tools should incorporate measures of the availability of opportunities for physical activity and healthful eating.

  • Communities should improve access to supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and community gardens to expand healthful food options, particularly in low-income and underserved areas.

Recommendation 7: Built Environment

Local governments, private developers, and community groups should expand opportunities for physical activity including recreational facilities, parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, bike paths, routes for walking or bicycling to school, and safe streets and neighborhoods, especially for populations at high risk of childhood obesity.

To implement this recommendation:

Local governments, working with private developers and community groups, should:

  • Revise comprehensive plans, zoning and subdivision ordinances, and other planning practices to increase availability and accessibility of opportunities for physical activity in new developments

  • Prioritize capital improvement projects to increase opportunities for physical activity in existing areas

  • Improve the street, sidewalk, and street-crossing safety of routes to school, develop programs to encourage walking and bicycling to school, and build schools within walking and bicycling distance of the neighborhoods they serve

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