270354 What McDonalds Taught Us: Lessons learned from one community's efforts in shaping the local food environment

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH , Department of Global Health, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
Andrejs Galenieks, MArch., MPH , Department of Health Policy, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
Eddy Jara, DrPH , Department of Global Health, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH , School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Hildemar Dos Santos, MD, DrPH, CHES, ACSM , Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
Joan Sabate, MD, MPH , Department of Nutrition, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
The healthy cities movement has made significant progress to integrate health criteria into city planning. In fact, there is increasing recognition of synergy between Public Health and Urban Planning. However, there appears to be a gap between the value of healthy food environments and the implementation of policies that would ensure optimal food environments. This case study presents a city that has been recognized internationally as the only “Blue Zone” in North America for its high life expectancy and how it has sought to go beyond its healthy city reputation to codify and ensure a purposeful approach to upholding its healthy nature. What started as a resistance to a proposed McDonald's restaurant in the city resulted in broader health policy efforts. Methods: citizens and public health professionals engaged local government leadership in dialogue to encourage healthy city by design decision-making; reviewed best practices; formed a coalition; and used media advocacy to impact the policies and design of the city's food environment. Findings: Lessons learned include: the importance of navigating political philosophies around choice and food regulation; the impact of media with its successes and challenges; the importance of partnering with a broad set of stakeholders to maximize results. Implications: The lessons learned discussed here can be applied to other communities, customizing existing best practices to a local context. More discussions should follow on how these efforts have been, and can be, implemented in communities with varying socio-economic realities who seek to take an active role in designing their food environment.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how to effectively engage local government leaders in designing a healthy city Demonstrate the importance of public health in city planning Explain how to use community assets to support and createcreate health policies Discuss how to engage in media advocacy Explain the importance of partnerships in the healthy cities movement

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: We will be discussing fast food, which could be considered an "unlabeled hazardus product".

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional and an active citizen who has been involved in this effort to create a healthier food environment in my city.
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.