Nutritional Environment Measures Survey

Combinations of NEMS Tools Used

Farmer’s Market Audit Tool

Dr. Carmen Byker Shanks of Montana State and others have developed an audit tool for Farmer’s Markets modified from NEMS.  Their recent publication of the tool (Shanks, C. B., Pitts, S. J., & Gustafson, A. (2015). Development and Validation of a Farmers’ Market Audit Tool in Rural and Urban Communities. Health promotion practice, 1524839915597899) is now available.

Please click on the links below for the tool and instructions.

CDC and NPS Tools and Protocol for Evaluating National Parks

CDC and the National Park Service modified NEMS tools to evaluate the nutrition environments in the national parks. To see each setting’s tool and protocol, click on each link below:

NEMS Project in Rural Arizona Town

The Arizona Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is funding a project using both the NEMS-S and NEMS-R in a rural Arizona town as part of a comprehensive assessment of the community nutrition environment.  The assessment combines data collected from surveys of members of a local coalition, community meetings, community surveys, secondary data, and the NEMS tools.  The goal is to establish baseline measures and identify policy or environmental-level interventions that could potentially improve the local community nutrition environment.  The assessment, including the NEMS project, is the preliminary research of a Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, doctoral student, Elizabeth Kizer, for a planned community based participatory research dissertation project.  Six local residents are participating in the NEMS project by volunteering their time to be trained as NEMS raters and perform surveys in every licensed store and restaurant in town (a total of 35 surveys).  A community action board will review the assessment, the NEMS data collected, and develop strategies to achieve policy or environmental-level change, which will guide this researcher and the local coalition, to improve the local food environment. 

Hospital Food/Beverage and Physical Activity Environment Scans

A Step- by-Step Guide: Using the Healthy Hospital Food, Beverage, and Physical Activity Environment Scans

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have adapted a version of NEMS-R, NEMS-S and NEMS-V  to assess the nutrition environment in hospitals. 

They collaborated with hospitals across the country to conduct validity testing of these tools. The objectives of their project were to adapt a food & beverage retail environment assessment tool for hospitals and to disseminate these tools such that hospitals can increase knowledge about and monitor healthy hospital environments. To read the published article in Preventing Chronic Disease,click here.

If you are interested in learning more about the tool for your own use, please contact Dr. Brook Belay at

NEMS Tool for Assessing the Nutrition Environment on College Campuses

Fifteen post-secondary institutions assessed their near and on-campus eating environment using NEMS-S and NEMS-R tools modified by Dr. Tanya Horacek from Syracuse University. In the study, Dr. Horacek concluded that a college campus provides an eating environment with an array of dining and shopping venues,­­­­ most of which are not consistent with dietary recommendations for good health and obesity prevention. The findings of this study provide evidence in support of campus initiatives to evaluate and improve the quality of their own and surrounding eating environments.

The modifications made to NEMS-R to assess Campus Dining venues included the addition of a detailed evaluation of salad bars, vegetarian options, non-dairy milk alternatives, and cereals.  NEMS-S was expanded to evaluate canned and frozen fruits and vegetables (F/V), other ground lean meats, vegetarian (meat alternative) products, and the cereal (by fiber criteria).

NEMS-R Campus Dining and protocol.

Please go to the publications page, to view Dr. Horacek’s published articles on the project.

NEMS-Related Video from NEMS User

Sarah Moen, a student in Wisconsin who worked on a NEMS project over the summer of 2011, created a video of her NEMS experience.  To see her video, click here.

NEMS YouTube Video

Jenny Chen, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, created a YouTube video about NEMS for her Urban Planning fieldwork class. (11/18/2019 – The video is now private

Article in Huffington Post

Daniel J. Shultz, a public health nutritionist, wrote an article recently in the Huffington Post mentioning NEMS titled “A New Year’s Resolution That Benefits Everyone: Upgrading How We Evaluate and Shape Our Food Environment.”