Research Agenda on Measuring Food and Physical Activity Environments is Set at Workshop

Workshop on measures of the food and built environments

Healthy Eating Research at the University of Minnesota assisted the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Cancer Institute in organizing a workshop—"Measurement of the Food and Built Environments: Enhancing Research Relevant to Policy on Diet, Physical Activity and Weight"—on November 1–2, 2007, in Bethesda, Md.

Key Results:

  • Workshop attendees included:
    • Approximately 40 invited experts representing a variety of methodological areas related to issues of the dietary and physical activity/built environments
    • Researchers representing multiple stakeholders
    • Scientific and programmatic staff from governmental agencies
  • The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a special supplement entitled "Measurement of the Food and Physical Activity Environments—Enhancing Research Relevant to Policy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight" (36[4] [Suppl. 1]: April 2009).
  • This workshop helped lay the groundwork for the formation of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), launched in February 2009 to bring the nation's three major childhood obesity prevention research funders together to accelerate their joint progress in reversing the rise in childhood obesity.

Key Findings

  • The proceedings of the workshop highlight the need for:

    • Better reporting of measures of food and physical environments
    • Tailored, validated measures for populations at high risk for obesity (e.g., rural, low-income, racial/ethnic minority communities)
    • Refinement of conceptual models