Nutritional Environment Measures Survey
The NEMS Tools are observational measures to assess the community and consumer nutrition environments in food outlets, specifically stores, corner stores and restaurants. The measures focus on availability of healthful choices, prices and quality.
NEMS RESTAURANT MEASURES
Assessments of nutrition environments at restaurants focus on eight types of food indicators: healthy main dish choices (low-fat, low-calorie, healthy main dish options), availability of fruits and vegetables without added sauce, whole grain bread and baked chips, beverages, children’s menus, signage and promotions, facilitators and barriers to healthy eating, pricing, and accessibility. If you would like to learn more about NEMS-R, please read the publication, “Nutrition Environment Measures Study in Restaurants (NEMS-R): Development and evaluation.”
The NEMS-R tool has been updated since its original publication. The original published version of the instructions and the restaurant measures can be accessed by clicking on this link: NEMS-R survey and instructions. The updated version of the NEMS-R tool has an expanded kid’s menu.
NEMS STORE MEASURES
There are 11 measures of store nutrition environments which assess the availability and pricing differences between healthier and less-healthy options: milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, ground beef, hot dogs, frozen dinners, baked goods, beverages (soda/juice), whole grain bread, baked chips, and cereal. If you would like to learn more about NEMS-S, please read the publication, “Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S): Development and evaluation.”
The NEMS-S tool has been updated since its original publication. The original published version of the instructions and the store measures can be accessed by clicking on this link: NEMS-S survey and instructions.
The updated version of the NEMS-S tool has an added measure of cereal as well as some changes to the layout.
NEMS CORNER STORE MEASURES
The NEMS Corner Store survey assesses the nutrition environments, specifically in corner stores. While similar to NEMS-S, NEMS-CS also measures canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as additional snack and beverage items commonly found in corner stores.
See a table of the differences between the NEMS-CS and the NEMS-S tools.
If you would like to learn more about NEMS-CS, please read the recently published article, “Nutrition Environments in Corner Stores in Philadelphia.”
NEMS VENDING TOOL
The NEMS-Vending assessment tool assesses the availability of healthier food and beverage options in vending machines.
On January 26, 2012, Carol Voss of the Iowa Department of Public Health and Susan Klein of Iowans Fit for Life presented on Iowa’s experiences in using the NEMS vending machine assessment tool and its website development and how their project is leading to policy and environmental change in Iowa. If you’d like to contact Carol and Susan with questions, their emails are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
*As of February 2020, the NEMS-V website is down. We are working on connecting with their developers to gain access.
The Perceived Nutrition Environment
Dr. Glanz and staff have developed a survey on the perceived nutrition environment (NEMS-P). Unlike other NEMS tools, NEMS-P is not an observational measure – it is an instrument to evaluate the perceived nutrition environment.
Survey items cover the following constructs: community nutrition environment, consumer nutrition environment, home food environment, food shopping behaviors, eating behaviors, and background characteristics.
If you would like to learn more about NEMS-P, please click on the citation: Green, S. H., & Glanz, K. (2015). Development of the Perceived Nutrition Environment Measures Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(1), 50-61.
We would like to share with others all of the exciting applications of the NEMS tools and make this a useful webpage to other NEMS users. We need your help in order to do that by letting us know about your NEMS projects and developments! Please keep us in the loop and send us an email.
NEMS - GG
NEMS – Grab and Go
Brian Lo and other collaborators from Canada have published NEMS-GG, an audit tool assessing food outlets that sell grab and go foods around a University setting. Below are the links to the tool and scoring. The instructions are embedded in the tool so there is not a separate protocol. If you have specific questions related to the tool, you will need to email Brian Lo, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the journal article citation listed on our publications page.
Adaptations and Modifications
The NEMS Tools are observational measures to assess the community and consumer nutrition environments in food outlets, specifically stores, corner stores and restaurants. The measures focus on availability of healthful choices, prices and quality. Read more here