The outcome, or product, of using Moving to the Future is a plan. By using the worksheets in Moving to the Future, you should be able to develop a plan that will be funded and, if implemented, will make a difference in the health of your community. In developing a nutrition and physical activity plan, your team figures out what it's going to take to achieve your health goal and objectives. Also, now is the time to decide how to evaluate the plan's impact.
There are no standard guidelines on the structure, format, or components of a nutrition and physical activity plan. Generally, a nutrition and physical activity plan is a document that: (1) includes community assessment findings, (2) outlines strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity, and (3) describes the plan for evaluation. Moving to the Future includes a nutrition and physical activity plan template to give you some guidance on what to include in a plan. This template is based on the program-planning process outlined in Moving to the Future. Be sure to modify the template to meet your team’s needs.
The Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a tool for assessing the quality of state public health plans. This tool, called the State Plan Index, is available in PDF on the CDC Obesity Prevention Program web page. State Plan Index This research-based tool should be consulted as you draft your nutrition and physical activity plan, whether you work at a local or state level. If you use the "Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan Template" in Moving to the Future and the accompanying instructions, then your plan would address much of what is called for in the State Plan Index.
FAQs About Developing a Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan
Why develop a plan?
There are several benefits to developing a nutrition and physical activity plan and some are listed below. Developing a good nutrition and physical activity plan:
Controls work load.
An unexpected benefit to having a nutrition and physical activity plan is the ability to control and stabilize a person’s work load. If you are responsible for a certain number of the interventions in the plan then you can say, “No, not this year,” to new ideas that are not in the plan. New ideas should always be added to the possible interventions list for consideration in the next plan.
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Moving to the Future Terminology
Coalitions. People work together in a number of ways, in coalitions, partnerships, committees, teams, task forces, and so on. The tools in Moving to the Future will help you no matter how your group is structured. To make Moving to the Future friendly to people working together in different ways, we use these group terms interchangeably. So, if you are working in a formal committee and Moving to the Future uses the word team, the information applies to you as well.
Program. In Moving to the Future, the word program is defined broadly and could encompass any group of activities including projects, services, programs, and policy or environmental changes.
Nutrition and Physical Activity. In Moving to the Future we pair the word nutrition with the phrase physical activity, as for example in "address the nutrition and physical activity needs" or "develop a nutrition and physical activity plan." This does not suggest that these materials are only useful to people working on community-based nutrition AND physical activity programs. You can use the Moving to the Future resources to develop a plan focused only on nutrition or a plan focused only on physical activity. Moving to the Future provides guidance on a process--not on content. In fact, these materials could be adapted and used to develop a teen pregnancy prevention plan, for example, or a plan for any other community health priority.
Moving to the Future Principles
Flexible and Realistic are the bywords of this approach. The intent of Moving to the Future is to provide guidance. Use what is helpful and modify materials to meet your needs. Planning and implementing community-based programs is not work that can be done perfectly. Do the best you can, given your real-world limitations, and commit to making improvements every year.
Copyright 2006 Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors
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