Abstract: Unhealthy eating is the leading risk for death and disability globally. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for population health interventions. One of the proposed interventions is to ensure healthy foods are available by implementing healthy food procurement policies. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence base assessing the impact of such policies. A comprehensive review was conducted by searching PubMed and Medline for policies that had been implemented and evaluated the impact of food purchases, food consumption, and behaviors towards healthy foods. Thirty-four studies were identified and found to be effective at increasing the availability and purchases of healthy food and decreasing purchases of unhealthy food. Most policies also had other components such as education, price reductions, and health interventions. The multiple gaps in research identified by this review suggest that additional research and ongoing evaluation of food procurement programs is required. Implementation of healthy food procurement policies in schools, worksites, hospitals, care homes, correctional facilities, government institutions, and remote communities increase markers of healthy eating. Prior or simultaneous implementation of ancillary education about healthy eating, and rationale for the policy may be critical success factors and additional research is needed.
Keywords: public policy; health promotion; health; food; non-communicable disease; sodium; sugar; saturated fat; trans fatty acids
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Niebylski, M.L.; Lu, T.; Campbell, N.R.C.; Arcand, J.; Schermel, A.; Hua, D.; Yeates, K.E.; Tobe, S.W.; Twohig, P.A.; L'Abbé, M.R.; Liu, P.P. Healthy Food Procurement Policies and Their Impact. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2608-2627.
Niebylski ML, Lu T, Campbell NRC, Arcand J, Schermel A, Hua D, Yeates KE, Tobe SW, Twohig PA, L'Abbé MR, Liu PP. Healthy Food Procurement Policies and Their Impact. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(3):2608-2627.
Niebylski, Mark L.; Lu, Tammy; Campbell, Norm R.C.; Arcand, Joanne; Schermel, Alyssa; Hua, Diane; Yeates, Karen E.; Tobe, Sheldon W.; Twohig, Patrick A.; L'Abbé, Mary R.; Liu, Peter P. 2014. "Healthy Food Procurement Policies and Their Impact." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 3: 2608-2627.