231141 Growing Healthy Communities: Policy Advocacy and Tools for Supporting Healthier Food Systems

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Jennifer Billig, MPA , Food and Health, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Minneapolis, MN
David Wallinga, MD, MPA , Food and Health Program, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Minneapolis, MN
Dysfunctional food systems contribute to unhealthy eating and obesity. Because these are systems, the actions needed to bring about healthier food environment must be multiple and mutually reinforcing. Because there is substantial inertia in the status quo, policy change is a necessary component. Policy changes can be pursued, and likely must be pursued, at the regional, national and even international levels to reflect the fact that many of the most impactful entities in an increasingly global food system operate at all levels. Public health professionals can be effective advocates for policy change, and likely will be necessary if these changes are to be implemented effectively. This presentation reviews some available tools for advocates of healthy food systems to employ. We will demonstrate use of the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislures' database, for example, of different policies that promote for healthy eating at the local level, and the Yale Rudd Center's database for State and Federal Food Policy and Obesity Legislation, and Healthy Food Action, a new site that makes it easy for health professionals to also become healthy food system advocates.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss why policy intervention likely is necessary to support healthier community food environments. 2) Describe and access online resource(s) that support and facilitate advocacy for healthy community food systems

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work full time on engaging health professionals in advocacy for a healthier, more sustainable food system
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.