This article describes and addresses the challenges researchers face when utilizing natural experimental studies to evaluate changes to the retail food environment. Through the use of case studies, the article describes strategies and approaches for overcoming these challenges. The challenges are divided into categories of: 1) study design and analysis; 2) selection of participants, selection of measure, and obtainment of data; and 3) real-world considerations. Advantages and disadvantages to each approach are provided. Consideration of these challenges and best practices can minimize bias and ensure natural experimental studies effectively assess the impact of policies and programs on food access, availability, and intake for use by stakeholders, policymakers, and food retailers.
Best Practices for Using Natural Experiments to Evaluate Retail Food and Beverage Policies and Interventions
Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016
Over the last six years, efforts to strengthen policies, systems, and environments to promote health and prevent obesity have become more robust and widespread. These efforts include updates to federal policies and programs, state regulations, local policies, and evidence-based guidance. The goal of the current research review is to provide … More
The WellSAT, created in 2005, is a leading measure used to assess the quality of written school wellness policies. The aim of the present study is to update the WellSAT to a 3.0 version based on current science and psychometric assessments to reflect the 2016 final federal rule from the … More
Child care providers are a vital part of healthy, thriving communities. Over half of children between the ages of zero and five spend significant time in non-parental child care. These early years are critical for healthy brain development and establishing the habits that last a lifetime. Laws and policies shape … More