Objectives: We developed the policy indicator checklist (PIC) to identify and measure policies for calorie-dense foods and sugar-sweetened beverages to determine how policies are clustered across multiple settings. Methods: In 2012 and 2013 we used existing literature, policy documents, government recommendations, and instruments to identify key policies. We then developed the PIC to examine the policy environments across 3 settings (communities, schools, and early care and education centers) in 8 communities participating in the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project. Results: Principal components analysis revealed 5 components related to calorie-dense food policies and 4 components related to sugar-sweetened beverage policies. Communities with higher youth and racial/ethnic minority populations tended to have fewer and weaker policy environments concerning calorie-dense foods and healthy foods and beverages. Conclusions: The PIC was a helpful tool to identify policies that promote healthy food environments across multiple settings and to measure and compare the overall policy environments across communities. There is need for improved coordination across settings, particularly in areas with greater concentration of youths and racial/ethnic minority populations. Policies to support healthy eating are not equally distributed across communities, and disparities continue to exist in nutrition policies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health