April 21, 2016
Interventions in various food environments have been conducted to promote healthful eating. Such interventions include expanding farmers markets (1), increasing fresh food inventory in small stores (2,3), financing programs to support full-service groceries in underserved communities (4), and initiating healthy vending machine programs (5–7). Most healthful food interventions focus on school and community settings. Few have focused on parks (8,9).
Parks are an important public space for promoting health, especially in urban settings with limited open space (10), not only through physical activity but also through access to healthful food. Parks are the second largest public provider of food to children in the United States, serving 985,000 meals in 2011 (11). They can play an important role in improving access to healthful food and beverages. As demand grows for diverse approaches to improving food environments, communities may benefit from information about healthful food initiatives in local, state, and national parks.
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