Washington State
Nutrition & Physical Activity Plan

10 Years of Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Indicators of progress toward policy change

  • Norms regarding the issue or understanding of the issue: more people “get” that a policy is important based on a growing base of evidence.
  • Base of support: “key influencers” are on board; the public is mobilized.
  • Alliances or partnerships: efforts are more coordinated through finding common ground.
  • Political will: policy makers consider the issue more important or of higher priority.
  • Ability to take advantage of the current context: growing concerns about obesity and budget neutral solutions advance the issues.

The Plan in 2011

Ten years ago a group of dedicated stakeholders got together to develop the first Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan. The goal of these 36 initial “Partners of the Plan” was to make it easier for state residents to eat well and be active. The State Plan, initially introduced in 2003, is a framework for improving formal policies and standards and less formal guidelines and practices to achieve this goal.

The growth and activities of statewide coalitions for preventing childhood obesity, increasing access to healthy foods, supporting breastfeeding and promoting physical activity as well as two bills that were introduced in the Washington State legislature in 2011 show how far the 800 plus current Partners of the Plan have moved the state toward the goal of “making the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Changes to policies and environments take time and sustained effort. This edition highlights some of the successes of the past 10 years.

See more updates in the March 2011 Partners newsletter.