- The community food environment may contribute to obesity by influencing food choice. Store and restaurant audits are increasingly common methods for assessing food environments, but are time consuming and costly. A valid, reliable brief measurement tool is needed. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate reduced-item food environment audit tools for stores and restaurants.
- In the past 15 years, researchers, practitioners, and community residents and leaders have become increasingly interested in associations among built environments and physical activity, diet, and obesity. Numerous tools to measure activity and food environments have been developed but vary in quality and usability. Future progress depends on aligning these tools with new communication technology and increasing their utility for planning and policy.
- The federal menu labeling law will require chain restaurants to post caloric information on menus, but the impact of labeling is uncertain.
- Recent attempts to improve the healthfulness of away-from-home eating include regulations requiring restaurants to post nutrition information. The impact of such regulations on restaurant environments is unknown.
- GIS-based walkability measures designed to explain active travel fail to capture “playability” and proximity to healthy food. These constructs should be considered when measuring potential child obesogenic environments.
- Identifying neighborhood environment attributes related to childhood obesity can inform environmental changes for obesity prevention.
- On August 9, 2010, Santa Clara County CA became the first U.S. jurisdiction to implement an ordinance that prohibits the distribution of toys and other incentives to children in conjunction with meals, foods, or beverages that do not meet minimal nutritional criteria. Restaurants had many different options for complying with this ordinance, such as introducing more healthful menu options, reformulating current menu items, or changing marketing or toy distribution practices.
- Nutrition labeling of menus has been promoted as a means for helping consumers make healthier food choices at restaurants. As part of national health reform, chain restaurants will be required to post nutrition information at point-of-purchase, but more evidence regarding the impact of these regulations, particularly in children, is needed.