When planning your MNE intervention, include a monitoring and evaluation strategy to track progress and assess the impact on the local military community. The Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) and the Military Nutrition Environment Working Group (MNEWG) collaborate with different organizations and agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on strategies and resources to optimize the food environment.
CDC’s Food Service Guidelines Implementation Toolkit: Monitor and Evaluate web page offers comprehensive resources to monitor and evaluate your action plan. Monitoring provides a real-time, objective measurement that health promotion experts and food service venue operators can use to adjust their offerings or practices. Use a checklist to assess implementation status at defined time frames.
- An mNEAT assessment evaluates a food service venue’s food policy, availability, and behavioral design against certain benchmarks.
- Go for Green® has a Program Fidelity Assessment tool that provides in-depth review of each program requirement.
- CDC offers food service guidelines for a variety of venues.
Use established guidance to determine the purpose of your evaluation and the questions you’ll ask.
- Set a baseline to measure the food environment prior to an intervention. An annual mNEAT assessment can showcase scores before and after to help track progress.
- Where did you focus your efforts? Identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity for improvement.
- Were you able to achieve the expected outcome? Did having more nutritious foods increase the sales of those foods?
Review your data
Use multiple types of data to evaluate your intervention’s success.
- Food items purchased or ordered.
- Record of food items sold (point-of-sales data).
- Menu offerings.
- Quantity of food items prepared or served.
Choose by setting and venue
The best data source can vary depending on the setting and venue where foods and beverages are offered or sold.
- Settings include worksites, healthcare facilities, parks, and recreation facilities.
- Venues include cafeterias, snack bars, micro markets, and vending machines.
Measure reach and impact
Reach and impact demonstrate public health benefits, show return on investment, and help to track progress. Reach measures the number or percentage of people or communities affected by your intervention. The public health impact is over the long term and more challenging to measure.
- For example: Weight loss or clinical signs of chronic disease.
Impact can be estimated “by proxy.”
- For example: Changes in the sales of sugary beverages or healthy entrées.
Report other health-related benefits of your intervention.
- Increased purchase or use of local produce.
- Increased food safety or nutrition education trainings for staff.