Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Interventions on diet and physical activity: What Works

Policy and environment

Policies and interventions that modify the physical environment are crucial to making changes to the diet and physical activity patterns of the population. These interventions can reach large populations in the environments were individuals make their choices.

Included in this category are policies that change the composition of staple foods and that have a direct influence on the nutrient intake of the population. Environmental changes have also been demonstrated in the way stores and restaurants have used point-of-purchase prompts and messaging to encourage shoppers to select healthier food.

From a physical activity perspective, environmental policies that impact on people’s mode of transport or that increase public space for recreational activities, have shown to facilitate the increase in physical activity levels.