BOX 6-9

Examples of Community Indicators

  • Food banks and emergency food outlets actively provide and promote high-quality fruits, vegetables, and other foods that contribute to a healthful diet.

  • Billboard and outdoor advertising and transit companies restrict advertisements for high-calorie, high fat foods and beverages in neighborhoods, particularly around schools, playgrounds, and other youth-oriented facilities.

  • Convenient access to high-quality free-for-use parks, playgrounds, outdoor sports facilities (e.g., tennis courts and basketball courts) and green space exists in low-income neighborhoods.

  • Zoning and land use requirements promote mixed-use and mandate sidewalks, trails, recreation facilities, and safe pedestrian and bicycle access to schools, shopping (including food), parks, recreation centers, and worksites, particularly in low-income neighborhoods.

SOURCES: California Department of Health Services (2006); Chapter 4.

more towns, cities, and counties to become actively involved in childhood obesity prevention. The following sections detail the next steps and implementation actions for communities.

Promote Leadership and Collaboration

Civic, social, and faith-based leaders in a community can galvanize action by local residents, businesses, schools, and organizations to improve the quality of life and the focus on nutrition and physical activity in the community. Often, many community groups may be working independently on individual projects and initiatives. A greater coordination of efforts and communication about the range of efforts has the potential to leverage these efforts to reach more individuals and families and can also encourage other groups to initiate nutrition and physical activity interventions. Leadership can also be shown in the organizational modeling of fitness and nutrition policies and practices. In all of these efforts, it is important that evaluation be a priority. Indeed, leadership is demonstrated in the resources and emphasis that are placed on evaluation and on the dissemination of the results of those evaluations.

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