Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change

KEYS 4 HealthyKids focuses on creating environments that support healthy habits and behaviors.

It is difficult to maintain healthy behaviors if your environment is not accommodating. Imagine trying to eat healthy fruits and vegetables if you have no transportation or live miles away from a grocery store. It is very problematic when you would like your child to abide by the dietary recommendations of 12 grams of sugar or less per day when their provided school breakfast already has 25 grams in it . Policy changes don’t have to be at the state level to make a difference; it is still very beneficial within individual child care centers or schools. Similarly, environments can be used to support better choices. For example one school we worked with installed water filters to increase water consumption and decrease soda consumption. This is one example of an environmental change that has a great effect on the student body. This exemplifies how a small environmental change has the potential to make a great impact.

PSE’s are ways of thinking about effective improvements in the public health of communities.


Changes are instituted through formal, written standards accepted or adopted by a governing body.


Changes that impact all areas of an organization or institution.


Changes in physical, social, or economic factors that affect how people behave.

PSE changes are:

Setting Program/Events PSE Changes
Child Care Provide healthy living tips in parent newsletter Adopt a policy for physical activity throughout the day
Community Host a community bike ride and parade Implement a "Complete Streets" policy
Faith Go Red! Sunday Healthy meals and snacks policy
Worksite Annual onsite health screening for staff Establish a healthy vending policy and make stairs accessible and attractive
Schools Celebrate National Nutrition Month Add a set quantity of fruits and vegetables to menus

Our mission at KEYS 4 Healthy Kids is to reverse childhood obesity by making the healthy choice the easy choice through policy, systems, and environmental change.