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Exploring How Law and Policy Can Help Us Build a Society Where All People Live Long and Healthy Lives

posted on Wed, Sep 26 2018 12:49 pm by Angie McGowan and KT Kramer

The Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy project aims to advance our understanding of legal and policy strategies that may be used to improve health outcomes and achieve Healthy People 2020 objectives and we look forward to sharing this work at this year’s Public Health Law Conference. The project is a collaborative effort of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Healthy People 2020 provides evidence-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Initiated in 1979, Healthy People is the longest-running disease prevention and health promotion program in the Nation.

The Law and Health Policy Project released the first of a series of reports and products this month, The Role of Law and Policy in Achieving the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition and Weight Status Goals of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Intake in the United States, which focuses on opportunities to leverage law and policy to achieve two critical Healthy People 2020 objectives:[i]

  • NWS-14 - Increase the contribution of fruits to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older
  • NWS-15.1 - Increase the contribution of fruits and vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2+

Good nutrition remains a challenge for most Americans, with less than one in ten consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily. Furthermore, significant disparities exist across race, ethnicity, economic status, and geography. The report highlights ways law and policy can support healthy eating across the lifespan and focuses on three areas crucial to health equity:  access, affordability, and demand for healthy foods. This report was developed by multi-disciplinary teams of federal and external experts and includes examples of innovative law and policy approaches that state, tribal, and local communities have implemented.  Our first two examples, or Bright Spots, focus on Minneapolis’s Staple Ordinance and the Navajo Nation’s Healthy Diné Nation Act.

Efforts are now underway to identify objectives and targets for Healthy People 2030. We have three opportunities for participants at the Public Health Law Conference to share their insights and perspectives about priorities for public health over the next ten years. Please join us on October 4th for a concurrent session about the Healthy People 2030 development process and the role of law and policy, health equity, and the social determinants of health in these efforts. We will also host a Healthy People 2030 listening session immediately following this panel, which all conference attendees are welcome to attend. Finally, please stop by the Law and Health Policy Project exhibit booth to meet us and share ideas. We’re excited to share our work and hear about additional opportunities for collaboration at the Conference – we hope to see you there!

 

This guest post was prepared by Angie McGowan, J.D., M.P.H., Project Director at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, HHS and KT Kramer, J.D., M.H.A., Public Health Analyst (CDC Foundation assignee).

The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this post do not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.

Support for the Network is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, RWJF.



[i] The Healthy People objectives selected for this report are: NWS-14 - Increase the contribution of fruits to the diets of the population aged 2 years and older and NWS-15.1 - Increase the contribution of fruits and vegetables to the diets of the population aged 2+

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