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Healthy Food Procurement Policies and Their Impact

Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 150 College St., Toronto, ON M5S3E2, Canada
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto Bayview Ave. E239, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada
Department of Medicine, Queen's University, 2059 Etherington Hall, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth St., Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2608-2627;
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
PDF [316 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: public policy; health promotion; health; food; non-communicable disease; sodium; sugar; saturated fat; trans fatty acids public policy; health promotion; health; food; non-communicable disease; sodium; sugar; saturated fat; trans fatty acids

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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