Obesity Prevention Initiatives

HEAL Contractor Meeting December 9-10, 2014 NEW!

Powerpoints and Handouts

(may be printed to bring to HEAL Contractor Meeting)

Community Initiatives

Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) in Local Communities

HEAL communities will work collaboratively with local partners to increase access to healthy food and safe places to be physically active.  HEAL projects include multi-sector initiatives that involve traditional public health partners such as community organizations and health care providers and non-traditional partners such as local government planning and recreation departments, businesses and farms. 

HEAL Communities select at least one nutrition strategy and one physical activity strategy to address.

Strategies include:

Nutrition Strategies

  1. Increase the number of employers recognized as a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.
  2. Increase the number of small retail venues that offer healthy foods.
  3. Increase the number of Live Well Restaurants.
  4. Increase the number of community gardens/amount of produce distributed from the garden.
  5. Increase the number of public places (city buildings and parks) that have adopted and implemented nutrition standards for vending/concessions on government property—using Eat Smart in Parks where appropriate.

Physical Activity Strategies

  1. Increase the number of shared use agreements and use of these facilities.
  2. Increase the number of Livable Streets policies. 
  3. Increase the number of worksites promoting physical activity.
  4. Increase the number of early childhood education (ECE) facilities that are recognized as Missouri MOve Smart Centers.

For more information about HEAL, please contact the Bureau of Community Health and Wellness at 573-522-2820.

Healthy Food Retail–Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy

Stock Healthy Shop Healthy logoStock Healthy, Shop Healthy is a comprehensive, community-based program that allows communities to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by working with a small food retailer.  Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy will guide any community through a unique approach that involves engaging small food retailers and community members, and thus addresses supply and demand at the same time.  To download the toolkits and supporting materials or for more information visit http://extension.missouri.edu/stockhealthy/home.aspx.

Click here to view the webinar Starved for Access: Understanding the Realities of Rural Grocery Stores presented by Kara Lubischer and Connie Mefford from University of Missouri Extension.
Webinar PowerPoint

For additional information about opportunities for working on healthy retail projects, contact Pat Simmons at pat.simmons@health.mo.gov.

Eat Smart in Parks Logo

Eat Smart in Parks

Eat Smart in Parks is a statewide effort aimed at promoting healthier eating options in Missouri’s state and local parks. This effort includes the development of a model Eat Smart in Parks policy that guides parks in serving healthier options, training for state and local parks to assist them with using the guidelines and materials to promote healthier items.  To download the resource materials please visit http://extension.missouri.edu/mocan/eatsmartinparks/.

Live Well Missouri logo

Missouri Live Well Restaurants Program

The Missouri Live Well Restaurants Program encourages restaurants to serve at least 3 meals that meet specific nutrition criteria in an effort to make healthier food more accessible for Missourians.  For more information visit Live Well Missouri.

Maternal Child Health Program

More than 50 Missouri counties have selected obesity as a priority issue.  The local public health agencies (LPHAs) in these counties work on evidence-based system changes that will improve nutrition and activity status of their residents.  These contracts have resulted in the creation of walking trails community gardens and breastfeeding-friendly environments, improved school menus and healthy restaurant options and workplaces. 

Chronic Disease Primary Prevention Program

Similar to the MCH Program, the CDPP Program assists LPHAs with building the capacity to prevent chronic disease.  In 2013, four counties were funded to make policy and environmental changes to reduce three primary risk factors for developing chronic diseases: tobacco use, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating. Counties have been successful in creating walking trails, building community gardens, establishing farmers markets and improving the school nutrition environment, among other successes.

Worksite Lactation Accommodation

The Missouri "Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program" is a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition to educate employers on the value of providing lactation support in the workplace and to recognize businesses that support their breastfeeding employees.  For more information about becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite please visit http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/breastfeeding/support.php


The Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MoCAN) has been helping to coordinate the state’s prevention efforts and implement the state’s obesity prevention plan.  Representatives from over 45 organizations sit on the Council and participate in work groups.  The work groups are: Policy, Schools and Child Care, Health Care, Messages, Built Environment, Food Systems and Worksites. More information about the work of each group can be found at this address:  http://extension.missouri.edu/mocan/.

Missouri Livable Streets

The department has been involved in promoting Complete Streets and Livable Streets policies across Missouri for several years now.  Information and resources from the Department's programs over the years are available at the Missouri Livable Streets web site.  Complete streets are streets that are designed and operated to enable safe access along and across the street for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. The initiative provides technical assistance and resources to Missouri’s communities to help them adopt and/or implement complete street policies.

Recently the Department funded a study that interviewed key stakeholders in Missouri communities that have adopted Complete/Livable Streets policies.  The report describes why communities work to pass these policies, what the policies do for communities, and the state can work to make Complete Streets policies in Missouri more effective.


Fit WIC is a nationwide program to prevent childhood overweight in young children ages 2-5 in the WIC community. FITWIC encourages participants to engage in outdoor play through its goal of getting families more active.  Encourages parents walking or bicycling with children, participating in community physical activities, and centering family outings around physical activity.  http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/wiclwp/fitwic-mo.php

Child Care Initiatives  

Missouri Eat Smart Child Care Initiative

Through a partnership with the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Team Nutrition Program and the Child Care Health Consultation Program, child care providers receive training and technical assistance to improve the nutritional quality of their menus and the environment in which meals are consumed. http://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/nutrition/eatsmartguidelines/index.php

I am Moving, I Am Learning

This is a specific initiative to increase physical activity in child care facilities.  Child care providers are trained to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines.

Missouri MOve Smart Child Care

Similar to the Eat Smart Initiative, child care providers are encouraged to adopt best-practices for incorporating policies and practices that encourage physical activity.

Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

Child care providers are encouraged to adopt best-practices for incorporating policies and practices that encourage breastfeeding.

Cooking Matters

Series of cooking classes for child care providers to help gain the skills and confidence needed to prepare healthier meals.

School Based Initiatives

Team Nutrition Program

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.  Its goal is to improve children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits through training for child nutrition foodservice professionals, promoting quality nutrition curriculum in schools and child care facilities, and building school and community support for healthy school environments.  Missouri’s Team Nutrition Program is working on three interventions which are described below:

  1. HealthierUS School Challenge Training Intervention focuses on training school food service employees on meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge and providing HUSSC Coaching in 12 schools. 
  2. Evaluation of Local Wellness Policies
  3. Training Opportunities
    We partner with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide training to school food service professionals on implementing healthier menus and creating cafeteria environments that promote healthy behaviors.

Safe Routes to School Program State Network Project (in cooperation with MoDOT)

The project aims to increase physical activity among children by improving the environment and supporting policies to make it safe, convenient and fun for children to walk and bicycle to and from school.  DHSS is a member of the state network of partners that encourages communities to work on safe routes to school. http://www.modot.mo.gov/safety/saferoutestoschool.htm