Professor Ana Martinez Donate would like to recruit 1-2 students

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					ANEWC/WASABE MPH Field Placement Announcement

Professors Ana Martinez-Donate and Kristen Malecki would like to recruit 6-11 MPH students
to work with them and their colleagues this spring and summer on the ANEWC (Assessing the
Nutrition Environment in Wisconsin Communities) and WASABE (Wisconsin Assessment
of the Social and Built Environment) studies, as a group MPH field experience. A detailed
abstract of the studies begins on page 3. Nutrition and built environment assessments have
become popular tools in public health. This is an excellent chance for students to gain
experience in these blossoming methods; contribute to work involving obesity, access to healthy
food, and urban planning; and be part of a dynamic team of public health researchers,
practitioners, and students.

   Learning Objectives:
          Understanding of study design, management, methods and field implementation
           including data collection and management.
          Understanding the variation in the social, built and nutrition environment of
           Wisconsin communities and potential impact on health
          Leadership and team-work skills – each MPH student will be involved with a team of
           raters that will travel the state

Time/travel commitment:
      20-30 hours between March 1 and April 30 taking self-paced online trainings and
       completing practice fieldwork
      30 hours in mid-to-late May attending in-person group trainings in the Madison area
      Attend weekly meetings led by Drs. Ana Martinez-Donate and Kristen Malecki to discuss
       concepts underlying this work
           o These weekly meetings will happen in person in the Madison area, or by phone,
               from late May through August

   Full weeks (approx. 40 hours) collecting data throughout Wisconsin between June and
       o Due to the nature of this work, time away is allowed only when notice is provided
             several weeks in advance, or in emergencies
       o Summer fieldwork requires extensive travel throughout the state, and periodic
             overnight stays at hotels (rooms will be shared with at one other same-sex
       o A valid drivers license and good driving record is required
       o Most or all students must be able to use their own cars for some of this travel, and
             their own laptops
       o Travel expenses (mileage, lodging, meals when traveling overnight) will be paid
             for by the project up front, or reimbursed to the student

The position is a volunteer one (no pay is available beyond covering travel expenses), but we
guarantee it will be a rich and fun experience with important applications to public health.
Interested participants should contact Ana Martinez Donate or the project coordinator, Sara
Soka, as soon as possible.

We will hold a brownbag information session about this MPH
group field experience opportunity Wednesday, February 9 from
12:00-1:00 in room 511 WARF.

       A Community-Academic Partnership to Assess the Built, Social, and Nutrition
                                  Environment in Wisconsin
   Ana P. Martinez-Donate,1,2 Maggie Grabow,1,5 Milena Bernardinello,1,6 Sara Soka,1,3 Corinne
   Engelman,1 Lesli Kiedrowski4, Kristen Malecki,1 Amy Meinen,3 Susan A. Nitzke,7 F. Javier
                 1Department of Population Health Sciences, UW-Madison
                           2Carbone Cancer Center, UW-Madison
                            3Wisconsin Division of Public Health
                          4Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene
                 5Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison
                6Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UW-Madison
                    7Department of Nutritional Sciences, UW-Madison

Background. Two thirds of adults in Wisconsin are overweight or obese. Existing data
offer an unclear picture on what specific neighborhood elements are most relevant in
explaining differences in physical activity and related health outcomes. There is also
limited understanding of the degree to which the availability, quality, and price of healthy
and unhealthy food options relate to obesity rates and eating patterns at the population

Objectives. Two ongoing, related studies, ancillary to the Survey of Health of Wisconsin
(SHOW), are being conducted in partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Madison
(UW), Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH), Wisconsin Partnership for Activity &
Nutrition, and Wisconsin Sports Foundation. The studies are designed to determine
whether the built, social, and nutrition environment provides or limits opportunities for
healthy eating and physical activity behaviors, contributing to the growing epidemic of
obesity and chronic diseases.

Methods. The SHOW is an ongoing statewide household survey partially modeled after the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It involves a series of interviews, self-
administered questionnaires, physical measures, and laboratory tests to collect individual-
and household-level data from a representative sample of 800-1000 Wisconsin adults each
year. Among other variables, the survey collects comprehensive data on health status,
medical health history, weight, height, physical activity and dietary habits. The SHOW also
collects data on perceptions of neighborhood built and food environments. The Wisconsin
Assessment of the Social and Built Environment (WASABE) study is assessing physical and
social attributes of the neighborhood environment of Wisconsin residents participating in
the SHOW. The Assessment of the Nutrition Environment in Wisconsin Communities
(ANEWC) study is assessing the number, type of, and proximity to food stores and
restaurants and the availability, quality, price, and signage of the items these food outlets
offer in the SHOW communities. Both studies use geographic information system (GIS)
techniques to determine street-network based buffer areas centered on each SHOW
respondent’s geocoded home address. For WASABE, neighborhood attributes are assessed
within a 400-meter street-network buffer surrounding SHOW participants’ home
addresses. Trained raters collect data from all street segments within each buffer area.
Street segment definitions are based on the presence of one or more intersections, distance

between intersections, and buffer limits. WASABE data are collected using a direct
observation instrument developed and validated by UW investigators to assess
neighborhood indicators that may facilitate or discourage physical activity. The instrument
covers land use; availability of recreational facilities; non-residential destinations; safety
from traffic; attractive neighborhood features; signs of social capital, cohesiveness, and
conflict; and presence of physically active role models. For ANEWC, restaurants and food
stores within a buffer area surrounding SHOW participants’ home addresses are identified,
enumerated, mapped, and audited using the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey
(NEMS). NEMS is an observational measure to assess the nutrition environment within
retail food stores (NEMS-S) and restaurants (NEMS-R) that was developed by investigators
at Emory University. Food stores and restaurants in a 2-mile (urban and suburban areas)
or a 5-mile (rural areas) street-network buffer around SHOW participants’ home addresses
are audited by trained raters. Food outlet enumeration protocols rely on several sources,
including Business Analyst data provided by DPH, Google Maps, Yellow Pages, and visual
inspection of the study areas. NEMS-S focuses on the availability of more healthful or
recommended choices, quality of produce, and prices of 10 food categories that contribute
the most fat and calories to the American diet and those that are most recommended for
healthful eating. NEMS-R assesses the relative healthfulness of foods and beverages
available on a restaurant’s main and children’s menus, with a focus on availability,
facilitators, and supports for healthful eating, barriers to healthful eating, pricing, and
signage/promotion. WASABE and both forms of NEMS have acceptable reliability and

Expected Results. Investigators will examine associations among neighborhood physical,
social, and food attributes, on the one hand, and the level and type of physical activity,
dietary patterns, and health outcomes, on the other. Results from these analyses will
elucidate the influence of environmental factors on health behaviors and health outcomes.
Data collected from these two studies will provide a snapshot on the quality of the built,
social, and nutrition environment in Wisconsin, in general, and in specific communities, in
particular. These data can inform future environmental and policy interventions to
improve the built, social, and food environment in Wisconsin and serve as a baseline
against which the effectiveness of such interventions can be tested. Ultimately, these
studies are expected to strengthen programs that reduce the prevalence of overweight and
obesity and multiple health problems associated with insufficient levels of physical activity
and poor diet.

(Last edited 2010, SS.)


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