The childhood obesity epidemic has stimulated the emergence of many policy and environmental strategies to increase healthy eating and active living, with relatively few research recommendations identifying the most effective and generalizable strategies. Yet, local, state, and national decision makers have an urgent need to take action, particularly with respect to lower-income and racial and ethnic populations at greatest risk. With the surge of promising and emerging policy and environmental strategies, this review provides a framework, criteria, and process modeled from existing expert classification systems to assess the strength of evidence for these strategies. Likewise, this review highlights evidence gaps and ways to increase the types and amount of evidence available to inform policy and environmental strategies. These priorities include documenting independent and interdependent effects, determining applicability to different populations and settings, assessing implementation fidelity and feasibility, identifying cumulative benefits and costs, ascertaining impacts on health equity, and tracking sustainability.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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