Environments Supporting Healthy Eating

CARES is working with the African American Collaborative  Obesity Research Network (AACORN) to create an innovating index of supportive healthy eating environments.

The ESHE Index combine indicators related to factors that facilitate healthy eating into a score that can be compared within and across states. The goal of ESHE is to stimulate positive changes in aspects of food and food policy landscapes that are conducive to high dietary quality. We envision a food landscape that encourages people to consume a high quality diet.

  1. Access to a favorable mix of food retailers and restaurants that provide a variety of healthful foods;
  2. Competitive prices for healthy foods and beverages
  3. Supportive organizational policies with respect to healthful food access; and
  4. Policies that support nutrition education and promotion of healthy foods and restrict advertising of less healthy foods.

ESHE is a collaboration among several organizations that work to promote healthy eating in U.S. populations: the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (www.AACORN.org), which is the lead organization, and other research and advocacy partners around the nation. We created ESHE because:

  • Far too many Americans develop diet-related conditions that compromise health, the ability to work, overall quality of life and may lead to shorter lives: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer.
  • The proportion of Americans who consume enough of the types foods and beverages recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as foundations a high quality diet (link or box here) is surprisingly low.
  • Most Americans consume too much of the types of foods that work against good health and make it difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dietary quality scores are low across the board but lower on average for population groups that have a higher than average risk of diet-related diseases

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Client: African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network