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    Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program
    MC 1944
    P.O. Box 149347 Austin, Texas 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street, T-406
    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: (512) 458-7111
    Fax: (512) 458-7618


    Email comments or questions

Texas Nutrition Environment Assessment (TxNEA) Background

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Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention logo Peppers Women seated in a restaurant

Apples and tomatoes

In May 2007, 25 Texas health professionals were trained to use the Nutrition Environments Measures Survey (NEMS), developed and tested by Emory University and funded by RWJF, which includes measures for assessing nutrition options in restaurants and grocery/convenient stores with established inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, and construct validity.

DSHS Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Program, University of Texas- Austin Department of Kinesiology and Health Education & Department of Human Ecology/Nutrition, Steps to a Healthier Austin, and Texas State University- San Marcos Department of Nutrition and Foods began adapting the measures to meet the needs of Texas communities and to focus specifically on obesity by considering calorie content of food options.

In November 2008, 30 Texas health professionals and researchers interested in using TxNEA convened to review the latest adaptations. After providing thorough feedback and helpful suggestions to improve the measures, TxNEA has been further adapted to meet the needs of the Texas public health workforce who will be using it for various projects throughout Texas.

Current Projects

Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) - With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living at The University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus will use a modified version of TxNEA to evaluate food allocation package revisions administered through Texas Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program to inform decision makers about the effectiveness of the policy.

Central Texas Foodshed Project (Word, 32.5 KB) - As a part of the Central Texas Foodshed Assessment project, TxNEA will be used to evaluate accessibility to healthy foods by inventorying availability, quality and cost of healthy foods at retail food outlets, including grocery, convenience, and specialty stores; farmers’ markets and farm stands; community, school, and backyard gardens; and federal nutrition assistance programs and emergency food agencies. This project will provide a comprehensive examination of the production capacity, distribution infrastructure, and availability of healthy food to meet the dietary needs of residents in Travis, Williams, Bastrop, Hays and Caldwell counties. University of Texas nutrition and nursing students were trained to collect data using TxNEA and completed assessments in 120 stores within the 5 county target area. Upon completion of data analysis, a report of the state of the present food system in Central Texas along with a summary of project activities and recommendations for future food systems work will be completed in May 2011.

TxNEA Tool and Modified Tools

TxNEA (PDF, 180.0 KB) - Grocery and Convenience Store

Please contact the NPAOP Program for training and data entry materials.

TxNEA – Restaurant (coming soon)

Modified TxNEA (T-COPPE) (PDF, 1.3 MB) This version was modified by the University of Texas School of Public Health/Dell Center for the Advancement of Healthy Living and Texas A&M to evaluate changes in access and availability as a result of the WIC Food Package changes in Texas.

Modified TxNEA (T-COPPE) Training Materials (Word, 5.3 MB)

Modified TxNEA (T-COPPE) Hint Sheet (PDF, 30.7 KB) 

Modified TxNEA (Central Texas Foodshed Project) (PDF, 180.0 KB) - This version was modified for the Central Texas Foodshed Project to evaluate the local food system in five Central Texas counties.

Future Plans

DSHS NPAOP will continue to update this website to serve as a clearinghouse for using TxNEA, its modifications and current projects, training materials and protocols, and for posting any relevant research findings.  By working closely with Texas partners who are currently assessing the nutrition environment in Texas, or have an interest in doing so, DSHS NPAOP hopes to create a core set of measures from TxNEA so that partners across the state can collect data that is comparable throughout Texas, and the state would have the ability to conduct surveillance activities in the nutrition environment in the future.

If you are interested in using TxNEA, have any questions about this project, or would like to share information about your related project on this website please contact the NPAOP Program.

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.


Last updated July 17, 2013