the committee also realized the practical constraints that make it infeasible to examine the effectiveness of all types of actions in this way.

  • Observational evidence: A number of the action steps have been discussed in published studies that provide observations on how an action fared in one community or population, or examine associations of community characteristics with healthy eating, physical activity, or weight in a particular community or set of communities.

  • Limited evidence: Some action steps do not have direct research evidence. The selection of those actions was based on related evidence indicating that they are likely to have a positive effect on healthy eating and/or optimal physical activity. An example would be the action step to “create incentive programs to attract supermarkets and grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods.” Although there is no direct research evidence on the impact of incentive programs to attract supermarkets and grocery stores to these neighborhoods, there is observational evidence (cited in the rationale for Strategy 1: Retail Outlets) that neighborhood residents who have better access to supermarkets tend to have healthier diets and lower levels of obesity.

The 15 strategies recommended in the report are listed below, with a characterization under each one of the type of evidence supporting the action steps for that strategy. In addition, particular attention is paid to the types of evidence supporting each of the 12 action steps that the committee highlighted.

Actions For Healthy Eating

GOAL 1:
IMPROVE ACCESS TO AND CONSUMPTION OF HEALTHY, SAFE, AND AFFORDABLE FOODS

Strategy 1: Increase community access to healthy foods through supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience/corner stores.

All of the action steps under this strategy have limited evidence. However, the action step to “create incentive programs to attract supermarkets and grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods” was highlighted by the committee as one of its 12 action steps for special consideration. As mentioned in the above example, there is observational evidence that neighborhood residents who have better access to supermarkets tend to have healthier diets and lower levels of obesity. This highlighted action step is likely to make positive contributions to the achievement of



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