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State Initiatives Supporting Healthier Food Retail: An Overview of the National Landscape

The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released the attached report “State Initiatives Supporting Healthier Food Retail: An Overview of the National Landscape.” The report provides readers with useful information about the rationale for and characteristics of healthier food retail legislation enacted in the last decade. The report also provides public health practitioners and their partners with potential action steps that can be used to inform and educate others about the benefits of improved access to fruit and vegetables and other healthier foods through Healthier Food Retail initiatives in their state.

Background
In recent years, leading public health authorities have recommended improving the retail food environment to make healthier foods more accessible among underserved populations. This is one among a portfolio of strategies that can support individuals and families in improving diet and may lead to preventing or reducing obesity. To implement this strategy, some states have enacted legislation to attract grocery stores and supermarkets to underserved communities and to improve the quality of the foods that are sold at small corner stores.

Using CDC’s newly updated State Legislative and Regulatory Action Database and the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Healthy Community Design Legislative Database, an analysis of relevant bills enacted between January 2001 and January 2011 was conducted. The full text of each bill was retrieved from the state’s legislative Web site and analyzed to systematically capture and categorize key components of enacted legislation.

The State Initiatives Supporting Healthier Food Retail: An Overview of the National Landscape report includes the following topics:
· Rationale for healthier food retail access
· Bill coding and analysis procedures
· Findings from healthier food retail legislation in states, including a table showing key characteristics of enacted state healthier food retail legislation, January 2001 to January 2011
· Action steps
· Considerations
· State example
· Legislative data and other resources

For the report click here