National, state, and local institutions that procure, distribute, sell, and/or serve food to employees, students, and the public are increasingly capitalizing on existing operational infrastructures to create healthier food environments. Integration of healthy nutrition standards and other recommended practices [e.g., energy (kilocalories) postings at point-of-purchase, portion size restrictions, product placement guidelines, and signage] into new or renewing food service and vending contracts codifies an institution's commitment to increasing the availability of healthful food options in their food service venues and vending machines. These procurement requirements, in turn, have the potential to positively influence consumers' food-purchasing behaviors. Although these strategies are becoming increasingly popular, much remains unknown about their context, the processes required to implement them effectively, and the factors that facilitate their sustainability, especially in such broad and diverse settings as schools, county government facilities, and cities. To contribute to this gap in information, we reviewed and compared nutrition standards and other best practices implemented recently in a large school district, in a large county government, and across 10 municipalities in Los Angeles County. We report lessons learned from these efforts.
"Through this funding, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health implemented a number of nutrition interventions in the region. These interventions included (a) modifying food services and vending practices at food venues operated by county and city governments (e.g., incorporating healthy nutrition standards through the contracting process with food vendors or suppliers) ; (b) converting corner stores or other stores in low-income neighborhoods to food outlets which offer more fresh fruits and vegetables; and (c) utilizing outreach and health marketing to educate the public about the adverse effects of excess sugary drink consumption (Table 2) . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although US obesity prevention efforts have begun to implement a variety of system and environmental change strategies to address the underlying socioecological barriers to healthy eating, factors which can impede or facilitate community acceptance of such interventions are often poorly understood. This is due, in part, to the paucity of subpopulation health data that are available to help guide local planning and decision-making. We contribute to this gap in practice by examining area-specific health data for a population targeted by federally funded nutrition interventions in Los Angeles County. Using data from a local health assessment that collected information on sociodemographics, self-reported health behaviors, and objectively measured height, weight, and blood pressure for a subset of low-income adults (n = 720), we compared health risks and predictors of healthy eating across at-risk groups using multivariable modeling analyses. Our main findings indicate being a woman and having high self-efficacy in reading Nutrition Facts labels were strong predictors of healthy eating (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that intervening with women may help increase the reach of these nutrition interventions, and that improving self-efficacy in healthy eating through public education and/or by other means can help prime at-risk groups to accept and take advantage of these food environment changes.
Journal of obesity 03/2014; 2014(2):908391. DOI:10.1155/2014/908391
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As part of a comprehensive approach to combating the obesity epidemic, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched the "Sugar Pack" health marketing campaign in fall 2011. Carried out in three stages, the campaign sought to educate and motivate the public to reduce excess calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. The primary Sugar Pack creative concepts provided consumers with information about the number of sugar packs contained in sugary drinks. Data from formative market research as well as lessons from previous campaigns in other U.S. jurisdictions informed the development of the materials. These materials were disseminated through a multipronged platform that included paid outdoor media on transit and billboards and messaging using social media (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and sendable e-cards). Initial findings from a postcampaign assessment indicate that the Sugar Pack campaign reached broadly into targeted communities, resulting in more than 515 million impressions. Lessons learned from the campaign suggest that employing health marketing to engage the public can lead to increased knowledge, favorable recognition of health messages, and self-reported intention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, potentially complementing other obesity prevention strategies in the field.
Health Promotion Practice 10/2013; 15(2). DOI:10.1177/1524839913507280 · 0.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since sodium is ubiquitous in the food supply, recent approaches to sodium reduction have focused on increasing the availability of lower-sodium products through system-level and environmental changes. This article reviews integrated efforts by the Los Angeles County Sodium Reduction Initiative to implement these strategies at food venues in the County of Los Angeles government. The review used mixed methods, including a scan of the literature, key informant interviews, and lessons learned during 2010-2012 to assess program progress. Leveraging technical expertise and shared resources, the initiative strategically incorporated sodium reduction strategies into the overall work plan of a multipartnership food procurement program in Los Angeles County. To date, 3 County departments have incorporated new or updated nutrition requirements that included sodium limits and other strategies. The strategic coupling of sodium reduction to food procurement and general health promotion allowed for simultaneous advancement and acceleration of the County's sodium reduction agenda.
Journal of public health management and practice: JPHMP 12/2013; 20(1 Suppl 1):S16-22. DOI:10.1097/PHH.0b013e31829d7f63 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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