A Nutrition Report Card on food environments for children and youth: 5 years of experience from Canada

Alexa R. Ferdinands, Dana Lee Olstad, Krista M. Milford, Katerina Maximova, Candace I.J. Nykiforuk, Kim D. Raine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: In 2014, a Nutrition Report Card (NRC) was developed as a sustainable, low-cost framework to assess the healthfulness of children's food environments and highlight action to support healthy eating. We summarise our experiences in producing, disseminating, evaluating and refining an annual NRC in a Canadian province from 2015 to 2019.Design: To produce the NRC, children's food environment indicator data are collected, analyzed and compiled for consensus grading by an Expert Working Group of researchers and practitioners. Knowledge translation activities are tailored annually to the needs of target audiences: researchers, practitioners, policymakers and the public. Evaluation of reach is conducted through diverse strategies, including tracking media coverage and website traffic. Assessment of impact on diets and health outcomes is planned.Setting: Alberta, Canada.Participants: Not applicable.Discussion: The grading process has facilitated refining the NRC to enhance its relevance and utility as a tool for its target audiences. Its public release consistently captures media interest and policymakers' attention. The importance of partnerships in revealing data sources and in strategising to enhance policy approaches to improve food environments is apparent. The NRC has benchmarked progress and stimulated dialogue regarding healthy food environments for children.Conclusions: The NRC may help to foster a supportive climate for improving the quality of children's food environments. As an engaging and accessible document, the NRC represents a key mechanism for collating data related to children's food environments and ensuring it reaches the audiences best positioned to use it. Efforts are underway to expand the NRC across Canada.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2088-2099
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug. 2020


  • Children
  • Food environment
  • Monitoring
  • Nutrition policy
  • Report Card


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