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The dream team to tackle obesity

healthpromotion Silo-busting strategy

A recent US National Research Council report, Local Government Actions to Prevent Obesity provides a nice summary of the kind of interventions that have the best potential to tackle childhood obesity. 

According to the press release: “Many of these steps focus on increasing access to healthy foods and opportunities for active play and exercise.  They include:
- providing incentives to lure grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods;
- eliminating outdoor ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and drinks near schools; requiring calorie and other nutritional information on restaurant menus; 
- implementing local "Safe Routes to School" programs
- regulating minimum play space and time in child care programs; 
- rerouting buses or developing other transportation strategies that ensure people can get to grocery stores; and 
- using building codes to ensure facilities have working water fountains.”

So, here's the dream team you'd need for a comprehensive attack on obesity at the local government level:

- an incentive manager;
- a regulator; 
- a building code planner; 
- a nutritionist; 
- a transport planner; 
- an educator; 
- a courageous politician or two to drive these changes through; and
- a facilitator, to pull it all together.

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