Best Practices

What are the CDC Winnable Battles and the Community Guide to Preventive Services Recommended Strategies?

CDC's Winnable Battles are public health priorities with large-scale impact on health and with known, effective strategies to address them. CDC has identified nutrition, physical activity, and obesity as Winnable Battles. The CDC Guide to Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables and the CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in the Community each describes 10 strategies including the definition, rationale, evidence of effectiveness, key considerations, action steps, program examples, and additional resources. 

Follow the links below to download the PDF version of these documents.

The Guide to Community Preventive Services is a free resource to help you choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in your community. The Community Guide is a website that houses the official collection of all Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) findings and the systematic reviews on which they are based. The Community Guide is a credible resource with many uses because it is based on a scientific systematic review process and answers questions critical to almost everyone interested in community health and well-being such as:

  • What interventions have and have not worked?
  • In which populations and settings has the intervention worked or not worked?
  • What might the intervention cost? What should I expect for my investment?
  • Does the intervention lead to any other benefits or harms?
  • What interventions need more research before we know if they work or not?

The Community Guide defines and recommends strategies for obesity, nutrition and physical activity. To view these strategies follow this link:

Why should we adapt the CDC Winnable Battles and Community Guide to Preventive Services Strategies?

First, the recommended strategies have been tried and tested to be effective in addressing obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. They draw on peer-reviewed literature and practice-based programs, and utilizing these strategies will increase the likelihood of your program’s success. Second, there are lots of strategies to choose from, so you have the opportunity to determine which strategy will best work in your community. Since the majority of these strategies are not designed to be culturally specific for American Indian communities, you will be able to tailor the strategy to meet your community’s needs.

CDC Winnable Battles

Strategies to Increase Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables

Strategy 1. Promote food policy councils as a way to improve the food environment at state and local levels

Strategy 2. Improve access to retail stores that sell high-quality fruits and vegetables or increase the availability of high-quality fruits and vegetables at retail stores in underserved communities

Strategy 3. Start or expand farm-to-institution programs in schools, hospitals, workplaces, and other institutions

Strategy 4. Start or expand farmers’ markets in all settings

Strategy 5. Start or expand community supported agriculture programs in all settings

Strategy 6. Ensure access to fruits and vegetables in workplace cafeterias and other food service venues

Strategy 7. Ensure access to fruits and vegetables at workplace meetings and events.

Strategy 8. Support and promote community and home gardens

Strategy 9. Establish policies to incorporate fruit and vegetable activities into schools as a way to increase consumption

Strategy 10. Include fruits and vegetables in emergency food programs

Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in a Community

Strategy 1. Community-wide campaigns

Strategy 2. Point-of-decision prompts to encourage use of stairs

Strategy 3. Individually adapted health behavior change programs

Strategy 4. Enhanced school-based physical education

Strategy 5. Social support interventions in community settings

Strategy 6. Creation of or enhanced access to places for physical activity combined with informational outreach activities

Strategy 7. Street-scale urban design and land-use policies

Strategy 8. Community-scale urban design and land-use policies

Strategy 9. Active transport to school

Strategy 10. Transportation and travel policies and practices