LarocheBookletMay2014 1Improving the Nutrition Environment Through Changing Concession Stand Options: Eight Steps to Making Healthy Improvements: School concessions at sporting events can be a very important source of funds for student activities, and dedicated volunteers work hard to make them profitable. There are opportunities to add healthy options to the menu and maintain profits. Making these options available helps the school send a consistent message about healthy eating. The Eight Steps guide provides practical assistance to help groups make changes. It will assist groups to determine goals, choose probable changes, devise a purchasing plan, assess the profitability of changes, implement the plan, and keep track of set-backs and benefits of the changes. Laroche et al. (2014) found that concession stand modifications for healthier foods were well received and revenue remained high. Some foods like the nacho cheese or popcorn oil were changed (no trans fats, less saturated fat) and other healthy options (chicken sandwich, granola bars, fruit and vegetables, trail mix) were added to the concession stand menu (Laroche et al., 2014). Modifying current food options and adding other healthy options proves to be effective in concession stands. A fact sheet about this study can be found on the CDC website


For more information click the link below to access the “Eight Steps” guide. We ask that you complete a very short survey so that we can learn how the guide is being used. You may skip any or all of these questions and still get the guide.



Healthy Option logo final (3)Healthy Options Program: Rural areas of the country have been especially affected by the obesity epidemic. Because many people eat in restaurants this is a possible point of environmental intervention. Small, owner-operated rural restaurants simply cannot afford many of the restaurant programs currently available. Dr. Faryle Nothwehr has developed a toolkit with the Iowa Department of Public Health based on the Rural Restaurant Healthy Options Project. This project was a low-cost, low-risk intervention in rural restaurants that was designed to influence ordering behavior. To get the materials and learn more about how you can set up Healthy Options in a restaurant click here. For more details about the research project “Healthy Options in Rural Restaurants” please visit the UI PRC’s core research page here.

The top reasons for adopting the program were:

  • The restaurant already provides healthy options and the program helps to more effectively communicate this to the customer
  • It promotes awareness of nutrition and healthy eating
  • The owners want to help others.

Here are what some of the restaurants owners are saying:

“The program is catching on. A lot of comments on how good things are.”

“Lots of people have said that they didn’t know we offered those things so it’s good to have the table signs, and they’ve been ordering more of the things listed.”

“People appreciate that there are options. Some people don’t feel comfortable asking about some of the options but they might be more comfortable with asking about them after seeing the healthy options on the signs.”





manual coverCommunity Organizing in Rural Environments (CORE): A Guidebook for Community Health Initiatives: The CORE guidebook was written by Dr. Theresa Armstead in 2008. The overall goal of the guidebook is to build on the spirit of collaboration that already exists in rural towns to assist organizations in mobilizing the community around local health issues.  The guidebook will assist community health initiatives by assisting these groups to learn strategies to overcome barriers to getting started, identify strategies for managing conflict and maximizing participation, to know the differences between goals, strategies and actions, and how to obtain successful goal achievement through evaluation. The sixth chapter was written entirely by a member of the former Community Health Action Partnership in Sigourney, IA. Finally the manual includes resources such as the community toolbox and references. A copy of the guidebook is available here.