Thursday, November 1, 2012

Changing behavior by changing community environments

Though this 5 minute video from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) focuses on food policy, those of us who work to prevent youth substance abuse can learn from it.

In the video, Dr. Wansink discusses:

  • How we can change behavior by changing the environment in which people live, work and play.  People are highly influenced by the things around them.
  • That even small barriers to accessing unhealthy foods give people pause to reconsider if they should eat it or not.  (The same is true for drugs and alcohol.)
  • The importance of "small p" policy such as putting healthy foods first in a school cafeteria.  While large scale ("big P") public policy is important, small scale policy implemented in community organizations, schools and neighborhoods play an important role, as well.   

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