Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was created to support local and state leaders nationwide in their efforts to promote healthy, active communities and access to affordable healthy foods.
This document was originally developed through the collaborative efforts of 11 policy-maker organizations that represent public officials from the state and local levels of governance. Since 2007, representatives from these organizations have been engaged in a variety of activities including training leaders in strategies to promote healthy eating and active living policies; providing technical assistance to state and city-school teams; and working with rural policy-makers to identify strategies for promoting healthy eating and active living. In 2011, three new organizations endorsed the toolkit in recognition of its relevance to their work to support policy-makers as they help prevent childhood obesity.
The strategies outlined in this document are divided into several policy areas in order to increase awareness of the promising and evidence-based policy options to reduce childhood obesity. To facilitate ease of use among policy-makers with various jurisdictions and areas of expertise, this toolkit has been organized into two main sections—Active Living and the Built Environment, and Healthy Eating—each of which is further divided into subsections. Each subsection recommends targeted strategies based on the environmental setting, identifies key stakeholders, outlines policy and program options, provides concrete directions on how to start programs, describes resources that can help inform the process, and includes examples of how other states and localities have achieved progress.