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You are watching: List ways that the government assists in eating healthy

Institute of medicine (US) and National study Council (US) Committee top top Childhood weight problems Prevention plot for neighborhood Governments; Parker L, Burns AC, Sanchez E, editors. Local federal government Actions to prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington (DC): national Academies push (US); 2009.


Institute of medicine (US) and National research Council (US) Committee top top Childhood weight problems Prevention action for neighborhood Governments; Parker L, Burns AC, Sanchez E, editors.

The food and physical task choices make every day impact short- and also long-being physically energetic may reduce the danger for love disease, high blood pressure, ax health and also are directly related to weight outcomes. Eat right and diabetes, osteoporosis, particular cancers, and being overweight or obese (HHS and also USDA, 2005). These diseases and also conditions impact the individual and also his or her top quality of life and are linked with boosting health treatment costs that ar a burden on the government and businesses. Childhood offers the possibility to create a solid structure that have the right to lead to healthy and balanced lifelong eating patterns (IOM, 2005). Avoidance of childhood excessive weight is crucial to the promo of a healthier and more productive culture (IOM, 2005). In addition, plenty of diet-related chronic illness have their origins during childhood and adolescence.

Major alters in the nation’s food system and food and eating settings have emerged in current decades, thrust by technical advances; U.S. Food and agricultural policies; populace growth; and economic, social, and lifestyle alters (Story et al., 2008). Food is currently readily obtainable and available in countless settings transparent the day. The present U.S. Food supply contains a large amount the energy-dense foods, plenty of of which consist of polished grains and also foods high in fat and/or sugars and also low in nutrients. Many of these foodstuffs are often easily accessible in increasingly huge portion sizes at fairly low price (Story et al., 2008). American are additionally eating out an ext often and consuming more calories away from house than ever prior to (Keystone Center, 2006). Moreover, families are eating under meals with each other (Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2003). In addition, the school food environment is radically different than it to be a few decades ago, with plenty of schools now offering and promoting high-calorie, low-nutrition foods items throughout the institution day (Fox et al., 2009). Food marketing aimed at children using lot of channels, such as digital media, has drastically increased too (IOM, 2006). Finally, one exodus of grocery stores and also an influx of fast-food restaurants in lower-income urban locations have contributed to income and racial/ethnic disparities in access to healthier foodstuffs (IOM, 2005).

Together, these environmental transforms have affected what, where, and also how lot Americans eat and also have played a huge role in the present obesity epidemic. As recommended in the academy of medication (IOM) report preventing Childhood Obesity: health and wellness in the Balance, childhood excessive weight prevention should be public health and wellness in activity at that is broadest and most inclusive level and a national health and wellness priority (IOM, 2005). To be effective, excessive weight prevention efforts should use public health population-based approaches, consisting of policy and environmental changes that affect huge numbers that people. Solving the difficulty will need the initiatives of many stakeholders, consisting of those in the public and also private sectors, working with each other for change.

WHAT IS expected BY healthy EATING and HEALTHY FOODS?

In developing working meanings for healthy and balanced eating and also healthy foods, the committee looked to the 2005 diet Guidelines because that Americans (HHS and USDA, 2005). This guidelines, which space revised every five years and are based upon the latest scientific evidence, administer information and advice for picking a nutritious diet, keeping a healthy and balanced weight, and achieving enough exercise. The guidelines include 16 an essential recommendations that emphasis on food and also diet (see crate 4-1). The 2005 indict recommend the all healthy Americans age 2 and also older consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and also beverages in ~ and among the an easy food groups and also limit the entry of saturated and also trans fats, cholesterol, included sugars, and alcohol. Nutrient-dense foods items are foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting components, such together fiber, for relatively couple of calories. Foods items that room low in nutrient density supply calories however no or little amounts of vitamins, minerals, and also health-promoting components (HHS and also USDA, 2005). The better the consumption of foods and beverages that room low in nutrient density and also high in fats and also sugars, the more daunting it is to achieve energy balance (the balance in between calories consumed and also calories burned through physical task and bodily processes) and also still meet nutrient needs. The lack of power balance deserve to lead come unhealthy load gain. Picking foods that are constant with the guidelines (i.e., fruits, vegetables, totality grains, and low- or non-fat dairy products) and also watching section sizes is the best means to maintain a healthy and balanced weight while conference nutrient needs.


Box 4-1

Recommendations that the diet Guidelines for healthy Eating. Enough Nutrients in ~ Calorie needs Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the simple food groups while choosing foods the limit the entry of saturation (more...)

In accordance with the diet Guidelines, in this report healthy eating refers to eating the varieties and quantities of foods, nutrients, and calories recommended in those guidelines. Healthy foods items refers to fruits and vegetables with minimal or no included sugar, fat, or salt; fat-free or low-fat dairy product products; whole grains; and also lean meats. Healthy foods are also rich in health-promoting nutrients necessary for as whole wellness, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This working interpretations are tailored come the childhood weight problems problem and the require to resolve dietary excesses and also inadequacies associated with the present eating fads of children and youth.

There is no widely accepted definition of calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods, no one is there consensus on which foods items should be contained in this category. The 2005 dietary Guidelines because that Americans presented the concept of “discretionary” calories—the extra calories that room consumed during a work as included fat and/or sugars after sufficient healthy foods items have been consumed to accomplish caloric and also nutrient needs. Many discretionary calorie allowances are an extremely small, between 100 and also 300 calories, specifically for those who space not physically active. This report provides the ax calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foodstuffs to refer to those foods and also beverages that contribute few vitamins and also minerals come the diet yet contain substantial amounts of fat and/or sugar and also are high in calories. Usage of these foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, and also chips, may contribute to overfill caloric intake and unwanted weight gain in children. Moreover, these foodstuffs may replace much more nutritious foods, leading to lessened intake of part micronutrients (Kant, 2003; Swinburn et al., 2004).


Although food intake is at some point a issue of individual choice, local food atmospheres influence the selections made by children, families, and community members. In the 2001 surgeon General’s speak to to action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and also Obesity, former U.S. Surgeon general David Satcher stated, “Individual behavior adjust can happen only in a supportive environment with obtainable and affordable healthy and balanced food choices and also opportunities for continual physical activity” (HHS, 2001). Reliable obesity avoidance policy and practices that address changes come the setting can aid individuals take obligation for improving their food choices. The failure of individual-based nutrition and physical task efforts can be explained, in part, due to the fact that the atmospheres where they have been imposed are no conducive come healthful selections (Booth et al., 2001). The healthy selection must also be the easy choice.

A healthy eating setting is one in which households have accessibility to supermarkets or other areas where lock can achieve affordable healthy foods such together fruits and also vegetables; healthy and balanced food is easily accessible and easy to identify in restaurants and also public buildings; lower-income ar members are informed about and participate in commonwealth nutrition programs, such together the Supplemental Nutrition help Program (SNAP, formerly referred to as the Food rubber stamp Program); women feel supported and also comfortable in breastfeeding; and also there are ample water fountains in publicly places. This thing reviews ways in i beg your pardon local federal governments can develop an setting with these an easy characteristics that supports healthy and balanced eating.

DISPARITIES IN access TO healthy and balanced FOODS

As disputed in chapter 3, the healthy choice is regularly the more daunting choice in some neighborhoods. Lower-income and also minority neighborhoods and communities endure disproportionately high rates of preventable, diet-related diseases, including obesity (Ford and also Dzewaltowski, 2008; Morland and Evenson, 2009), and inequalities in access to affordable, healthy, and also nutritious food add to this disparities. Accessibility to healthy food in countless lower-income urban and also rural areas is frequently lacking and also is of certain concern since of the an adverse impact on diet intake and also obesity among a breakable population. Lower-income areas are less likely to have accessibility to supermarkets and also grocery stores that bring healthy foods contrasted with mainly white, middle- and higher-income areas (Baker et al., 2006; Franco et al., 2008; Morland et al., 2002). Numerous stores in lower-income neighborhoods are smaller sized with a restricted number that products and also fewer healthy items such together fruits and also vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy products products, and also whole grains. Public transportation to supermarkets is frequently lacking also (Morland et al., 2002). Research says that ar residents that have far better access to supermarkets and limited access come convenience stores often tend to have healthier diets and also lower level of weight problems (Lopez, 2007; Morland et al., 2006; Powell et al., 2007). A bad food atmosphere in lower-income areas may be exacerbated by an abundance of fast-food restaurants offer high-calorie, high-fat meals at reasonably low prices (Lewis et al., 2005). The availability of fast-food restaurants and calorie-dense foods items is greater in lower-income and minority communities (Baker et al., 2006; Larson et al., 2009).

Few studies have actually evaluated tactics for reducing disparities by improving accessibility to healthy, affordable foods and also reducing accessibility to high-calorie, low-nutrition foods. Numerous strategies and actions have been propose to attract supermarkets come underserved neighborhoods, improve the ease of access of healthy foodstuffs such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products, and reduce accessibility to caloriedense foodstuffs in quick food establishments and restaurants. As discussed in chapter 3, to address childhood obesity, local federal governments should take into consideration giving priority come neighborhoods and communities that lack accessibility to healthy foods items and/or have a family member excess the unhealthy foods. Rates of obesity and obesity-related illnesses often tend to be higher in these areas (Morland and Evenson, 2009).

THE role OF LOCAL federal governments IN promoting HEALTHY EATING

Local federal governments can have a strong and direct affect on people’s health and well-being and are fine positioned to make positive changes in food environments in communities. Local governments can provide strategic leadership, such as offering improved access to healthy foods in lower-income areas, using zoning laws to change local food environments, requiring food selection labeling in restaurants, serving as a catalyst for community adjust by providing healthier foodstuffs at federal government facilities, occurring the infrastructure vital for obesity prevention policies and also programs to it is in implemented and evaluated at the neighborhood level, and communicating the prominence of healthy eating and obesity avoidance to ar members. Local federal governments can and also should administer opportunities to change the community food setting to positively affect individual food choices by make the healthy an option the straightforward choice.

Local federal governments have a role to pat in both increasing accessibility to healthy foods and also reducing accessibility to unhealthy foods. Come date, and also as reflected in this report, over there are an ext access-enhancing strategies than those that can reduce access to unhealthy foods. However, local federal governments should also focus on strategies that reduce accessibility to unhealthy foods, as these potentially might have an ext of an impact in reducing obesity than increasing access to healthy foods. For example, restricting access to sugar-sweetened beverages in after-school ar programs may have much more of an influence on reducing the usage of overfill calories and also weight obtain in youth 보다 opening a farmers’ sector once a mainly for 5 months or starting a community garden. Finally, if some campaigns may not have actually a direct influence on healthy eating behaviors, they may strengthen ties among diverse and also important neighborhood stakeholders. Broad-based coalitions or business strengths arisen through such tasks can facilitate efficient advocacy because that subsequent efforts that have more impact yet are more complicated to implement.

The healthy and balanced eating tactics and activity steps encourage by the committee for regional governments’ consideration are organized about three goals:


Improve access to and also consumption the healthy, safe, and also affordable foods.


Reduce access to and consumption that calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods.


Raise awareness around the prestige of healthy eating to protect against childhood obesity.

This list of goals and the tactics and action steps questioned under each space not prioritized, but, as stated in the introduction, particular action actions are bolded as being many promising. Local neighborhood leaders, members, and policy devices will be in the ideal position to decide which techniques and activity steps will certainly be most feasible and also appropriate because that the needs and circumstances of their community. The decision will certainly be based mainly on such determinants as resources, priorities, leadership, and demographics. Complying with are the goals, strategies, and action steps associated to healthy eating.

Strategy 1: retail Outlets

Increase community accessibility to healthy foods items through supermarkets, grocery stores, and also convenience/corner stores.


People cannot consume a healthy diet uneven healthy foods items are available, affordable, and convenient. Research says that neighborhood residents who have better access come supermarkets and also grocery stores tend to have healthier diets and lower levels of obesity (Larson et al., 2009; Lopez, 2007; Morland and Evenson, 2009; Story et al., 2008). Access to supermarkets and also grocery shop can likewise lead to enhanced fruit and also vegetable input (Casagrande et al., 2009; Rose and also Richards, 2004). The existence of small food store and also corner stores additionally influences diet (Bodor et al., 2008). Residents of lower-income, minority, and also rural areas are most likely to have actually poor accessibility to supermarkets and other venues through healthy foodstuffs (Black and also Macinko, 2008; Larson et al., 2009; Story et al., 2008). These individuals are much more likely to have a high body mass index (BMI) (Inagami et al., 2006). Evidence argues that using metropolitan planning land use policies to increase accessibility to supermarkets can decrease BMI in adolescents (Powell et al., 2007).

The committee recognizes the complexities of several of the following activity steps; some might require much more time, resources, or support than others. That is vital to take into consideration groundwork that may make these activity steps easier to implement. For example, to lure supermarkets come underserved communities, local federal governments may require to develop policies draft to assist businesses and others navigate the facility development process.

Create motivation programs to tempt supermarkets and grocery stores to underserved communities (e.g., taxes credits, grant and loan programs, little business/economic breakthrough programs, and also other economic incentives).
Realign bus courses or provide other transportation, such together mobile neighborhood vans or shuttles come ensure that residents can accessibility supermarkets or grocery store stores easily and also affordably with public transportation.
Create catalyst programs to enable current tiny food store owners in underserved locations to carry healthier, affordable food items (e.g., grants or loans to purchase refrigeration equipment to save fruits, vegetables, and also fat-free/low-fat dairy; free publicity; a city awards program; or linkages come wholesale distributors).
Use zoning regulations to enable healthy food companies to situate in underserved neighborhoods (e.g., “as the right” and also “conditional usage permits”).
Enhance availability to grocery store stores with public security efforts, such as much better outdoor lighting and also police patrolling.

Americans space eating far from home more than ever prior to (French et al., 2001). Foods items from away-from-home sources are greater in calories and also fat compared with at-home foods (French et al., 2001). Eating out an ext frequently, particularly at fast-food restaurants, is connected with excessive weight (Duffey, 2007; Rosenheck, 2008). Without clear, easy-to-use nutrition info at the allude of ordering, it is challenging to make informed options at restaurants. Preliminary result from localities that have instituted menu labeling present that consumers might choose more healthy alternatives when they space informed about the nutritional high quality of offerings (Bassett et al., 2008; Harnack and French, 2008; Technomic Inc., 2009).

Require food selection labeling in chain restaurants to provide consumers v calorie details on in-store menus and also menu boards.
Encourage non-chain restaurants to provide consumers with calorie information on in-store menus and also menu boards.
Offer incentives (e.g., acknowledgment or endorsement) for restaurants that promote healthier choices (for example, by increasing the offerings of healthier foods, offer age-appropriate portion sizes, or make the default standard choices healthy—i.e., apples or carrots instead of French fries, and also non-fat milk instead of soda in “kids’ meals”).

Increasing the access of fruits and vegetables is vital means of boosting the top quality of the diet. Fruit and also vegetables are reasonably low in calories and, due to the fact that of their high fiber and water content, can increase satiety and reduce overall calorie input (Rolls et al., 2004). Substituting fruits and vegetables for greater calorie foods such together those high in fat and included sugars have the right to be a component of a successful obesity prevention strategy (CDC, 2007). Evidence suggests that cultivating farmers’ markets deserve to increase fruit and also vegetable intake (Herman et al., 2008; Kropf et al., 2007). Ar gardens and also garden-based nutrition intervention programs may additionally have the potential come promote raised fruit and vegetable intake (Alaimo et al., 2008) and also may rise willingness come taste fruits and vegetables among youth (Robinson-O’Brien et al., 2009).

Encourage farmers industries to accept one-of-a-kind Supplemental Nutrition regime for Women, Infants and also Children (WIC) food package vouchers and WIC Farmers’ industry Nutrition program coupons; and also encourage and also make it feasible for farmers’ sectors to expropriate Supplemental Nutrition assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly the Food stamp Program) and also WIC regime Electronic advantage Transfer (EBT) cards by allocating resources for devices that uses electronic methods that payment.
Improve resources for outreach, education, and also transportation come encourage use of farmers’ markets and also farm was standing by occupants of lower-income neighborhoods, and by WIC and SNAP recipients.
Introduce or modify land use policies/zoning regulations to promote, expand and also protect potential web page for ar gardens and farmers’ markets, such as vacant city-owned floor or unused parking lots.
Develop community-based group tasks (e.g., community kitchens) that link procurement that affordable, healthy food with improving an abilities in purchasing and preparing food.

National researches consistently display that the diet of children and teenagers do not meet national references for an excellent health, space contributing come overweight and also obesity, and are put youth at danger for major health results (HHS and USDA, 2005; IOM, 2005). Areas where children gather and also spend lot of your time should add to a healthful food environment. Since many youngsters spend time in after-school programs, child care, and recreation centers, making certain that the food offered in these settings is healthy and balanced could assist to boost their diets. Research says that the nutritional high quality of meals and snacks in child treatment settings can be negative and task levels might be insufficient (Ball et al., 2008; Padget and also Briley, 2005; Story et al., 2006). Furthermore, kids model the actions of adult (Pearson et al., 2009). Ensuring the publicly run entities mandate strong nutrition requirements in facilities and programs that offer children and adults would suggest that healthy and balanced eating is crucial issue. Local government agencies deserve to serve as leaders and function models by adopting policies and practices that promote healthy and balanced food selections in publicly places.

Mandate and implement solid nutrition standards for foods and also beverages available in government-run or regulation after-school programs, recreation centers, parks, and also child treatment facilities (which has limiting accessibility to calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods).
Ensure the local federal government agencies that operate cafeterias and vending options have solid nutrition standards in ar wherever foods and also beverages are sold or available.
Provide incentives or subsidies come government-run or -regulated programs and also localities that provide healthy foods items at compete prices and limit calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foodstuffs (e.g., after-school programs that carry out fruits or vegetables every day, and eliminate calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods items in vending makers or as component of the program).

Nutrition assistance programs provide children and lower-income people accessibility to food because that a healthful diet. They are not associated with enhanced weight in kids or adults (Hofferth and Curtin, 2005; Ver Ploeg, 2009; Ver Ploeg et al., 2008). In fact, recent research native the school Nutrition dietary Assessment Study-III verified that youngsters who participated in the institution Breakfast Program had a reduced likelihood that overweight and also obesity (Gleason and also Dodd, 2009). Other research suggests comparable associations with college Lunch, SNAP, and the WIC regimen (Bitler and Currie, 2004; Jones et al., 2003). Furthermore, current revisions come the WIC food package enhanced the quantity of totality grains, fruits, and vegetables participants receive, making the even simpler for lower-income mothers and also children to eat the healthy foodstuffs recommended by the diet Guidelines.

Put policies in location that need government-run and -regulated agencies responsible because that administering nutrition help programs to collaborate across agencies and programs to boost enrollment and participation in this programs (i.e., WIC agencies must ensure the those who room eligible are additionally participating in SNAP, etc.).
Ensure that boy care and after-school regime licensing agencies encourage utilization of the nutrition assistance programs and also increase nutrition regimen enrollment (CACFP, the Afterschool Snack Program, and also the Summer Food company Program).

Breastfeeding has multiple health benefits for infants and mothers. Research reflects that the much longer a child breastfeeds, the less likely the or she is to it is in overweight. (Arenz et al., 2004; Moreno and Rodriguez, 2007). Yet despite nationwide recommendations to increase breastfeeding initiation and also duration rates, many barriers make it an overwhelming for mothers to proceed breastfeeding. Local governments can implement policies and programs the make it much easier for mother to breastfeed. For example, mothers that offer birth in “baby-friendly hospitals” that practice the United countries Children’s Fund/World health and wellness Organization (UNICEF/WHO) ten actions to effective breastfeeding, part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital to plan USA, are an ext likely to solely breastfeed (Declercq et al., 2009).

Adopt practices in city and county hospitals that are regular with the Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative USA (UNICEF/WHO). This to plan promotes, protects, and also supports breastfeeding v ten procedures to effective breastfeeding for hospitals.
Permit breastfeeding in windy places and rescind any laws or regulations that discourage or do not enable breastfeeding in public places and also encourage the production of lactation rooms in publicly places.
Develop inspiration programs come encourage federal government agencies come ensure breastfeeding-friendly worksites, including providing lactation rooms.

Sugar-sweetened beverage entry is considered an essential contributing variable to obesity in childhood (James and also Kerr, 2005; Malik et al., 2009; Moreno and Rodriguez, 2007; Vartanian et al., 2007). Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages with water is associated with reductions in total energy intake for kids and teenagers (Wang et al., 2009). Installing water fountains in public places and facilities deserve to increase water intake and also prevent and reduce overweight and obesity (Muckelbauer et al., 2009).

Require that plain water be obtainable in local government-operated and also administered out areas and other public places and facilities.
Adopt structure codes to require accessibility to, and also maintenance of, new drinking water fountains (e.g., public restroom codes).

Increasing access and consumption of healthy foods items alone will not necessarily reduce excess caloric intake and also body weight. Reducing access to and consumption of calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods items is also needed come decrease excess calories and help prevent obesity in children. These foodstuffs are frequently high in sleek grains, added fats, and also sugars and tend to it is in inexpensive and also convenient (Monsivais and also Drewnowski, 2007). Children today have actually near continuous access come calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and beverages. Quick food restaurants and also other purveyors of inexpensive, unhealthy food are often densely located in lower-income, urban communities (Baker et al., 2006). Lock are also often situated near schools, which can increase weight problems rates (Currie et al., 2009). Moreover, proclaiming of fast-food restaurants deserve to also influence obesity prices (Chou et al., 2008). Counting calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods is one method that could decrease intake (Brownell and also Frieden, 2009; Congressional spending plan Office, 2008). Zoning and also land use plans that regulate rapid food restaurants may impact consumption too (Ashe et al., 2003; Paquin, 2008). The is essential to allude out the there room local and state legal problems that must be taken into consideration in any kind of restriction of advertising initiatives or imposition that food and also beverage taxes. In addition, jurisdiction end these concerns can differ from neighborhood to community.

Implement a taxation strategy to discourage intake of foods and beverages that have minimal nutritional value, such as sugar-sweetened beverages.
Adopt soil use and also zoning plans that restrict fast food facilities near institution grounds and public playgrounds.
Implement regional ordinances come restrict mobile vending of calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foodstuffs near schools and public playgrounds.
Implement zoning draft to limit the density of quick food facilities in residential communities.
Eliminate advertising and marketing that calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and also beverages close to school grounds and public places generally visited by youths.
Create incentive and also recognition program to encourage grocery store stores and also convenience stores to mitigate point-of-sale marketing that calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods (i.e., promote “candy-free” check out aisles).

Media have the right to be a an essential element to boost awareness and motivation and deserve to be supplied to promote healthy and balanced eating, portion size awareness, eating under caloriedense, nutrient-poor foods and also to advanced awareness that weight as a health issue. High-frequency television and radio advertising, and signage, may stimulate enhancements in mindsets toward a healthy diet (Beaudoin et al., 2007). A media technique may even cause a ar to change its dietary habits (Reger et al., 1999). Depending upon the sources available, and the objective of the campaign, both local advancement of campaigns and the fostering of national message projects may be useful. In maintaining with the report’s emphasis on alters that local governments can do to improve the food and physical task environments the children, that is important to point out that media and social marketing projects can boost these local atmospheres by highlighting the reasons for boosting children’s food and physical activity environments; and engaging the public in taking benefit of brand-new resources in their setting such as farmers’ markets, brand-new grocery stores, healthier selections at neighborhood businesses, etc.

Develop media campaigns, using multiple channels (print, radio, Internet, television, social networking, and also other advancement materials) to encourage healthy eat (and energetic living) using consistent messages.
Design a media campaign that creates community accessibility to healthy foods as a health and wellness equity issue and also reframes excessive weight as a repercussion of environmental inequities and not simply the result of poor personal choices.

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Develop counter-advertising media approaches versus unhealthy products to with youth as has actually been provided in the tobacco and alcohol avoidance fields.