Training for and Dissemination of the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS)

Evaluation of workshops on Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys (NEMS) indicates that the workshops effectively disseminate and promote use of the measures to assess the relationship between nutrition environments and obesity.

NEMS measure the social, policy and built environments that influence access to food, and consist of surveys that rate food outlets. The authors developed a two-day workshop to accelerate dissemination of the measures. Workshop participants completed a survey at the end of the workshops and were invited to complete a follow-up telephone survey at least six months later.

Key Findings:

  • Almost two-thirds of respondents reported using measures to train more people and rate food outlets.
  • NEMS are the only measures designed for distribution, and thus serve an emerging need in research and community action.
  • There was no significant difference in use of the measures based on training date or location.
  • NEMS measures are easily adopted because they are adaptable.

There was likely some selection bias in the evaluations, as those who had used the measures were more likely to reply. Modification of the measures is key to their widespread adoption, and additional research is necessary to determine if modified measures retain validity and reliability.