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How Do Healthy Eating and Active Living Policies Influence the Potential for a Community’s Healthy Behavior? The Case of Mississippi State

Author: GINA SCUTELNICU
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 40 No. 3

A community’s health can be enhanced through access to healthy eating and active living which, in turn, can be supported through the built environment. While local and state governments have taken active steps toward promoting healthy communities, efforts of encouraging healthy eating and active living have not reached their full potential. The state of Mississippi is known as “the fattest state” in the United States and one of the factors that has led to such a classification is related to the way development occurs throughout the state.
Drawing on a case study approach, the purpose of this study is to describe how local policy efforts can influence the potential for healthy eating and active living in the state of Mississippi. The paper examines the content of existing municipal comprehensive plans in terms of goals, objectives and policies related to healthy eating and active living over a 15-year time-frame (2000 - 2015).

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