In 2013, a two-day Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute Think Tank was held to create a vision for next steps in assessing physical activity and food environments. The Think Tank followed five years of BEAT Institute week-long courses that built capacity among researchers and practitioners for using the best available environment measures. The BEAT Institute training focused on integrating the disciplines of nutrition, physical activity, obesity prevention, urban planning, and transportation.
The Think Tank was structured around four key issues:
- Tools for measuring food and activity environments
- Advancing technology use in built environment assessment research and practice
- Making measurement instruments more feasible to disseminate for community use and advocacy
- Enhancing use of built environment measures for policy change and surveillance
A special themed section in AJPM, funded by Active Living Research, Healthy Eating Research, and the University of Pennsylvania, highlight the outcomes from each of the above key areas. Free, open access to each paper is available below.