Identifying Windows of Opportunity for Active Living and Healthy Eating Policies in Connecticut, 2016.

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Preventing chronic disease, ISSN: 1545-1151, Vol: 15, Issue: 3, Page: E28

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Greer, Anna E.; Knausenberger, Ann-Uriel
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Medicine; Public health; Obesity; Prevention; Elected officials; Health administrators; Connecticut; Community Health and Preventive Medicine; Health Policy; Health Services Administration; Health Services Research; Public Health Education and Promotion
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We examined the relative importance of 23 community issues among elected officials and health directors in Connecticut in 2016. For this cross-sectional study, 74 elected officials (40.7% response rate) and 47 health directors (62.7% response rate), who were purposively sampled, completed a questionnaire to rate their perceived importance of 23 community issues. Eight of these issues were related to active living, healthy eating, or obesity. We used χ tests to evaluate differences in responses. Compared with elected officials, health directors significantly more often perceived obesity, access to healthy groceries, poor nutrition, lack of pedestrian walkways, and pedestrian safety as important. Elected officials significantly more often than health directors perceived lack of good jobs, quality of public education, and cost of living as important. Health advocates should work with both groups to develop and frame policies to address both upstream (eg, jobs, education) and downstream (eg, healthy eating policies) determinants of obesity.