Measurement and Modeling of Healthy Food and Activity Landscapes FoodandActivityLandscapes

The primary aims of the research project are to use and adopt novel methods to measure and model access to healthy foods and activity environments in an urban area and to engage community members in developing a demonstration project of policy and environmental change to increase access to healthy foods and improved activity environments.

Secondary aims include:

  1. Use a mixed-methods approach to assess residents' shopping and physical activity patterns and reported barriers and facilitators to healthy food access and physical activity
  2. Create a spatial model of healthy food availability using a valid and reliable observational measure of food environments
  3. Apply cartographic modeling (raster GIS analysis) in novel ways to create healthy food and physical activity "landscapes"
  4. To work with community members to design and evaluate a pilot intervention to address barriers to healthy food access and physical activity in two neighborhoods in urban Philadelphia

We will also complete development of and conduct an advanced training institute to prepare young investigators and early-career practitioners to use both observational and self-report measures of nutrition and activity environments and related behavioral assessments. The Advanced Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT-Plus) Institute will add online instruction and train-the-trainer techniques to previously developed classroom training, computer labs, field work, and participatory methods.


  1. Karpyn A, Tappe K, Hillier A, Cannuscio C, Koprak J, Glanz K. Where urban residents shop for produce. In press, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2015.
  2. Hillier A, Smith T, Cannuscio CC, Karpyn A, Glanz K. A discrete-choice approach to modeling food store access. In Press, Environment and Planning B, 2015.
  3. Lucan SC, Hillier A, Schechter CB, Glanz K. Objective and self-reported factors associated with food environment perceptions and fruit-and-vegetable consumption: A multilevel analysis. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014; 11: 130324.
  4. Hillier A, Tappe K, Cannuscio C, Karpyn A, Glanz K. In an urban neighborhood, who is physically active and where? Women and Health, 54: 194-211, 2014.
  5. Cannuscio C, Hillier A, Karpyn A, Glanz K The social dynamics of healthy food shopping and store choice in an urban environment.  Social Science and Medicine, 122: 13-20, 2014.
  6. Cannuscio CC, Tappe K, Hillier A, Buttenheim A, Karpyn A, Glanz K. An assessment of the urban food environment and residents’ shopping behaviors in that environment. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(5): 606-614, 2013.
  7. Hillier A, Cannuscio C, Griffin L, Thomas N, Glanz K. The value of conducting door-to-door surveys. In Press, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 2013.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture

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