Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMJ Open. 2014 May 15;4(5):e005339. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005339.

Towards global benchmarking of food environments and policies to reduce obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases: design and methods for nation-wide surveys.

Author information

1
University of Auckland, School of Population Health, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Unhealthy diets are heavily driven by unhealthy food environments. The International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) has been established to reduce obesity, NCDs and their related inequalities globally. This paper describes the design and methods of the first-ever, comprehensive national survey on the healthiness of food environments and the public and private sector policies influencing them, as a first step towards global monitoring of food environments and policies.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS:

A package of 11 substudies has been identified: (1) food composition, labelling and promotion on food packages; (2) food prices, shelf space and placement of foods in different outlets (mainly supermarkets); (3) food provision in schools/early childhood education (ECE) services and outdoor food promotion around schools/ECE services; (4) density of and proximity to food outlets in communities; food promotion to children via (5) television, (6) magazines, (7) sport club sponsorships, and (8) internet and social media; (9) analysis of the impact of trade and investment agreements on food environments; (10) government policies and actions; and (11) private sector actions and practices. For the substudies on food prices, provision, promotion and retail, 'environmental equity' indicators have been developed to check progress towards reducing diet-related health inequalities. Indicators for these modules will be assessed by tertiles of area deprivation index or school deciles. International 'best practice benchmarks' will be identified, against which to compare progress of countries on improving the healthiness of their food environments and policies.

DISSEMINATION:

This research is highly original due to the very 'upstream' approach being taken and its direct policy relevance. The detailed protocols will be offered to and adapted for countries of varying size and income in order to establish INFORMAS globally as a new monitoring initiative to reduce obesity and diet-related NCDs.

KEYWORDS:

food policy; global health; monitoring; non-communicable diseases; obesity

PMID:
24833697
PMCID:
PMC4025455
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005339
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center