A healthy and balanced diet has important benefits to a person's health and can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
As more and more people spend their food dollars away from home, it's important to provide healthier food options. STRIVE San Diego!, a program of Operation Samahan, Inc. (OSI), works closely with restaurants, farmers markets, and grocery stores to improve nutrition and promote healthy living to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Community Health Network (SDAPI) is a network of community-based organizations in San Diego that aims to improve Asian and Pacific Islander (API) health outcomes and community voice. Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Community Health (DCH), STRIVE San Diego! was part of a select group of community-based organizations funded to provide a high impact program to reduce health disparities in API communities.
STRIVE, San Diego! aims to implement the following with our partners:
- Restaurants: 1) Analyze and modify selected recipes to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) nutrient content claims, including: "free", "low", "reduced/less" calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and/or sugars; 2) Offer low-sodium condiments (e.g., soy sauce, fish sauce) to reduce sodium intake; 3) provide nutrition labels on selected food items; and 4) promote selected healthier food items through various marketing strategies.
- Farmers Markets: 1) Collaborate with farmers markets to accept and encourage Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients increased access to healthy food and encourage consumption of locally-grown produce; 2) provide nutrition labels on selected food items, with a special focus on produce commonly used in API cuisine; and 3) promote EBT use and fruit and vegetable consumption through various marketing strategies.
- Grocery Stores: 1) Provide nutrition labels on selected food items, with a special focus on produce commonly used in API cuisine and 2) collaborate with local grocery store owners to enhance the produce aisle through signage, educational materials or displays, and providing food samples to customers.
These strategies are built on evidence-based programs as food outlets play an important role in food purchases and represent an ideal setting to help consumers make informed decisions.