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Fruits and Vegetables/State
Obe​sity Advocacy Glossary                                                                                                                                                       Back to Policy Home Page

Increased Access to Healthy Food​

Action steps to increase access to healthy food in the state include:

  1. Encourage incentives for farmers markets to accept WIC and SNAP.
    Requiring that farmer's markets accept Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) would encourage the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income families.

      Recommended by: For more information: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  2. Set statewide school nutrition and licensed child care facility nutrition programs standards that include access to fresh fruits and vegetables and high nutrient, low-energy foods.
    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets minimum nutrition standards for school and licensed child care facility nutrition programs. States can set standards that supersede the minimum requirements put forth by the USDA. The additional standards could include increasing availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, lower fat and salt content of meals, or the use of whole grains in food preparation.

  3. Recommended by:

     For more information: School Nutrition Foundation  

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  4. Establish Farm-to-School programs that deliver fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farms to schools.

    Farm-to-School programs can play the dual role of supporting local farmers while increasing the availability of locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables in school nutrition programs. 

    Recommended by:
  5.  For more information: The National Farm to School Network  

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap​.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  6. Mandate high-quality nutrition education curriculum in state schools.

    Incorporating nutrition education into state mandated pre-K-12 curriculum standards can encourage a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Nutrition education should be incorporated into curriculum of all grade levels.


    Recommended by:
  7. For more information: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Team Nutrition

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap​.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  8. Create state task force advancing healthy food options in schools and licensed child care facility nutrition programs.
    States can tap into the expertise of pediatricians, dieticians, education officials, and business leaders, among others, to study school nutrition programs and provide recommendations for improving nutrition standards.

    Recommended by:

  9. For more information:
    Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap​.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm


Limit Unhealthy Foods​

Action steps to limit unhealthy foods in the state include:

  1. Prohibit high energy, low-nutrient foods from schools and licensed child care facility nutrition programs.

    States laws restricting the sale of low-nutrient, energy-dense foods can encourage healthy school food options and encourage a lifetime of healthy eating habits by students.


    Recommended by:

    For more information: Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap​.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  2. Provide localities with financial incentives to limit the number of fast food establishments in the community.

    States can provide financial incentives in the form of tax breaks or community development grants to communities which limit the number of fast food retail outlets through zoning restrictions.


    Recommended by:

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.​org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm


Point of Purchase​

Action steps to for point of purchase in the state include:

  1. Offer state recognition of restaurants that promote healthier options.

    Aside from financial incentives, states can recognize restaurants that provide healthier menu options to consumers (like serving nonfat milk, or apples instead of French fries in "kids" meals). This recognition can encourage restaurants to serve and consumers to choose restaurants offering healthier options.

    Recommended by:

    For more information: Colorado's The Small Steps for Healthy Leaps Restaurant Program

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm


Media Campaigns​

Action steps to develop media campaigns in the state include:

  1. Develop media campaigns to combat the consumption of low-nutrient, energy-dense foods and promote healthy options.

    A statewide media campaign aimed at encouraging healthy eating directed at children can encourage children to eat healthier food options.


    Recommended by:

    For more information: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) "Promoting Active Living: A Guide to Marketing and Communication"

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm


Change Relative Pricing​

Action steps to change relative pricing in the state include:

  1. Implement a tax strategy to discourage consumption of food and beverages with minimal nutritional value.

    States can tax and beverages foods of minimal nutritional value to increase state revenue while discouraging consumption of unhealthy options.


    Recommended by:

    For more information: Center for Science in the Public Interest

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  2. Create incentives and recognition programs encouraging grocery and convenience stores to reduce point-of-sale marketing of low-nutrient, energy-dense food.

    Aside from financial incentives, states can recognize and offer endorsement to grocery stores and convenience stores that reduce point of sale marketing to consumers. This recognition can encourage consumers to choose grocery stores that encourage healthier options.


    Recommended by:

    For more information: Public Health Law and Policy

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm

  3. Enact legislation/support regulations to limit mobile vending of low nutrient, energy-dense food in public venues.

    Mobile vending units can provide low-cost options in public venues like town squares, college campuses, and public parks. Through legislation or health department regulations, states can require that all mobile vending units provide healthy food options and limit unhealthy options. 


    Recommended by:

    For more information: National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity

    Pediatricians are reminded that all state advocacy efforts should be coordinated with state AAP chapters. To connect with your state AAP chapter, please visit: http://www.aap.org/member/chapters/chaplist.cfm