Dates of Program: March 2003 through June 2015
Description: Bridging the Gap collects data from multiple sources—including the annual Monitoring the Future survey, of some 50,000 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students, as well as administrators at the schools they attend—and the surrounding neighborhoods—observations in parks and on streets, outdoor advertising, and stores and vendor.
It also gathers information about school district, city, state, and national policies that set the stage for school practices. It then conducts research that establishes links across these multiple perspectives, over time, to illuminate factors that most influence the decisions students make about their health.
“The quality and richness of Bridging the Gap data was unlike that of any other research entity.”–Bridging the Gap assessment, September 2013
Bridging the Gap is the only study in the United States that can assess the effects of policies and environments at the school, community, state, and national levels, and link them to self-report measures of diet, physical activity, and BMI.
The program has been widely credited with informing policies related to school nutrition, especially the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Bridging the Gap’s work on the effect of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages on consumption and employment has garnered national attention and is used by advocates urging state legislators to develop taxation policies.
- Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice and Policy for Healthy Youth November 18, 2013
- School District Wellness Policies February 28, 2013
- Child-Directed Marketing Within and Around Fast-Food Restaurants December 1, 2012
- The Extent to Which School District Competitive Food and Beverage Policies Align with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans June 1, 2012