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Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity
healthier eating. It has the potential to reach a large population and several cities are in the process of implementing incentive programs. There is growing interest in the implementation of this action and increased research in this area would be useful.
Strategy 2: Improve the availability and identification of healthful foods in restaurants.
There is observational evidence supporting the action steps related to menu labeling. The committee’s highlighted action step under this strategy: “Require menu labeling in chain restaurants to provide consumers with calorie information on in-store menus and menu boards” is supported by observational evidence that calorie information may have a positive influence on food choices in a restaurant setting. This action step has the potential to reach a large segment of the population and is being implemented by a number of restaurant chains. There is a growing interest in the implementation of this action and increased research in this area would be very useful. On the other hand, there is limited evidence for the action step on offering incentives to restaurants that promote healthier options.
Strategy 3: Promote efforts to provide fruits and vegetables in a variety of settings, such as farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, community gardens, and youth-focused gardens.
There is intervention and/or observational evidence for all of the action steps under this strategy except one: “Develop community-based activities that link procurement of affordable healthy food with improving skills in purchasing and preparing food.” As with all of the steps with limited evidence, this categorization is a reflection of the lack of published research.
Strategy 4: Ensure that publicly run entities such as after-school programs, child care facilities, recreation centers, and local government worksites implement policies and practices to promote healthy foods and beverages and reduce or eliminate the availability of calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods.
For this strategy, the action steps listed have limited evidence. The committee highlighted one action step under this strategy: “Mandate and implement strong nutrition standards for foods and beverages available in government-run or regulated after-school programs, recreation centers, parks, and child care facilities” because of the potential reach of such standard-setting and the feasibility of doing so in government-run and or regulated programs. There is growing interest