Making the Case for Food Advocacy


Welcome to the Environments Supporting Healthy Eating (ESHE) Index Hub

Better food environments can help all Americans, especially those with low incomes, to reduce the burden of diet-related diseases and achieve better health. We envision a food landscape that is supportive of healthy eating— encouraging people to consume a high quality diet by providing:

  • Sufficient access to food
  • Mix of stores and restaurants favorable for purchasing healthful foods
  • Active participation among organizations with policies that support healthy food access
  • Policies and practices that support nutrition education and promotion of healthy foods and limit advertising of less healthy foods

Far too many Americans develop diet-related conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer) that compromise health, the ability to work, overall quality of life, and may lead to a shorter lifespan. Most Americans consume too much of the types of foods that work against good health and make it difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Understanding the assets and barriers within food environments is a great first step to improving options for healthy eating.

ESHE is a free, standardized scoring tool for describing food environments in terms of their support for healthy eating. ESHE is different from other indexes as it weights and ranks multiple variables including— community nutrition environment, organizational environments, food prices and information environment. The result is a numerical score. The score combines county and state indicators that are publicly available and can be updated to monitor change over time.

  ESHE prscreen-shot-2017-02-01-at-3-39-48-pmovides 3 ways to compare food environments:

County Level- Comparisons of counties within states

County Peer Level- Comparisons of counties across states

State Level- Comparisons of states

  Use ESHE scores to help:


Raise awareness and mobilize community action

Provide an evidence base to support policy development and adoption

Provide an evidence base to encourage changes in business practices and promote corporate social responsibility

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Learn More about ESHE:

The ESHE Index Hub is a collaborative learning space. Join the ESHE Index Hub and be a part of our online community working to accelerate improvements and expand “supportive environments” for healthy eating across the country.

We welcome feedback (email on the index and the Hub and how to improve it in the future.

ESHE Technical Assistance Services

Do you need guidance creating your first report? Have questions about ESHE or community-level complementary ESHE measures? Or for any additional information, our technical team is here to help! Please email


Public Hub

The ESHE Index ranks counties and states on characteristics that are conducive to healthy eating.

This Hub is a project of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hub Admins
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Hub Moderators