sacks-benchmarkingasa-inpress-2021.pdf (245.07 kB)
Benchmarking as a Public Health Strategy for Creating Healthy Food Environments: An Evaluation of the INFORMAS Initiative (2012–2020)
journal contributionposted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Gary SacksGary Sacks, Janelle Kwon, Stefanie Vandevijvere, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
Diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity are the leading contributors to poor health worldwide. Efforts to improve population diets need to focus on creating healthy food environments. INFORMAS, established in 2012, is an international network that monitors and benchmarks food environments and related policies. By 2020, INFORMAS was active in 58 countries; national government policies were the most frequent aspect benchmarked. INFORMAS has resulted in the development and widespread application of standardized methods for assessing the characteristics of food environments. The activities of INFORMAS have contributed substantially to capacity building, advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and policy evaluation in relation to creating healthy food environments. Future efforts to benchmark food environments need to incorporate measurements related to environmental sustainability. For sustained impact, INFORMAS activities will need to be embedded within other existing monitoring initiatives. The most value will come from repeated assessments that help drive increased accountability for improving food environments. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 42 is April 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.