A strong link exists between the built environment, health and wellbeing. Local governments can help make the healthy choice the easy choice where people live, work, learn and play.
Components of the built environment that can influence the local food environment include: transport (e.g. roads); amenities (e.g. parks, street lighting, footpaths, shops); recreation facilities (e.g. playgrounds, sports facilities); food factories, processors and distributors; food outlets (e.g. density and variety of dining, takeaway, food vans); community and farmers markets.
The key question to ask is: What is the availability of healthy and unhealthy food and drinks within the retail food outlets (such as recreational centres, convenience stores, take-away outlets, and local events)?
Opportunities for action
- Promote different types of healthy food outlets.
- Ensure that food outlets are easily accessible by active transport (walking, cycling, community and public transport).
- Offer and promote healthy food options in council-owned, operated or leased premises such as recreational facilities.
- Be a community role model and implement procurement and catering policies for council events (in-house and community).
- Build on your key role in food safety through education and promotion of healthy eating.
- Collaborate with the state government on guidelines for the location and development of standards for food outlets.
- Create and enforce a local food security policy.
- Plant fruit trees as street trees.
- Incorporate Healthy Active by Design principles into building and planning strategies.
- Restrict unhealthy food advertising and promotion.
- Promote clear referral pathways to nutrition, physical activity and weight management services.
- Provide water fountains on pedestrian and cycling routes.
- Protect and promote breastfeeding in local government managed facilities, and in public spaces.