Clinical Edge

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Community Policies/Programs and Healthful Diets

Pediatr Obes; ePub 2018 Jun 19; Webb, et al

Community policies and programs (CPPs) that targeted decreases in intakes of less healthful foods and/or aimed to modify the availability of less healthful foods and portions were associated with healthier child dietary behaviors, a recent study found. An observational study identified 4,026 nutrition CPPs occurring in 130 communities in the prior 6 years. Dietary intakes of fruits and vegetables, added sugar and sugar‐sweetened beverages, among others, were reported among 5,138 children 4–15 years of age from the communities, using a Dietary Screener Questionnaire with children aged ≥9 years (parent assisted) or parent proxies for younger children. Researchers found:

  • CPPs with the highest intensity scores that targeted fast food or fat intake or provided smaller portions were associated with greater fruit and vegetable intake (0.21, 0.19, 0.23 cup equivalents/day, respectively).
  • CPPs with the highest intensity scores that restricted the availability of less healthful foods were associated with lower child intakes of total added sugar (−1.08 tsp/day) and sugar from sugar‐sweetened beverages (−1.63 tsp/day).
  • Similar associations were observed between CPP count and dietary outcomes.


Webb KL, Hewawitharana SC, Au LE, et al, on behalf of the Healthy Communities Study Team. Objectives of community policies and programs associated with more healthful dietary intakes among children: Findings from the Healthy Communities Study. [Published online ahead of print June 19, 2018]. Pediatr Obes. doi:10.1111/ijpo.12424.