Online Program

Using a web-based tool to assess beverages in community settings: Findings from the CA4Health program

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Soledad Drago-Ferguson, MPH, ., Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Maria Boyle, MS, RD, Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Alison Newton, Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sallie Yoshida, DrPH, RD, The Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research & Evaluation, Oakland, CA
Katherine Hawksworth, MPH, CHES, California Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Cyndi Guerra-Walter, BA, California Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Sacramento, CA
Kate Cheyne, MPH, CA4Health, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Dianne C. Barker, MHS, Barker Bi-Coastal Health Consultants, Inc., Calabasas, CA
Consumption of sugary beverages may contribute to the obesity epidemic. CA4Health is a 5-year Community Transformation Grant from CDC, and one of CA4Health's focus areas is to reduce the consumption of sugary beverages in 12 low-income counties. The multi-method CA4Health evaluation utilized a unique web-based assessment tool called FoodBEAMS to document the types of beverages that are available. Typically used in schools, this tool was used to capture the baseline beverage environment in other settings, including worksites and afterschool sites.

Community leaders were trained via webinar to use the tool in 55 intervention settings (19 schools, 32 worksites and 4 after school programs). The type, size, price, and advertisement of beverages were entered into a tablet-type computer which links to an extensive database of more than 1,750 beverages. Adherence to 4 model beverage standards was then determined. These standards defined the types of beverages that were allowed in specific settings.

Community leaders reported some difficulty using the tool but technical support helped alleviate the challenges. 2,800 beverages were assessed; the most common were soda (22%), sports drinks (15%), and water (14%). Overall adherence to the beverage standards was less than 30%. For example, 100% juice is allowed, but adherence was 4% in adult settings and 29% adherence in schools because serving sizes exceeded 8oz.

Beverage environments need improvement. This web-based tool can be used by community leaders to guide interventions, monitor changes over time, and ultimately reduce access to sugary beverages in a variety of community environments.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how a web-based tool was used to assess beverage availability in a variety of community environments. Explain the importance of working with community leaders to assess the beverage environment in their communities. List three types of beverages that adhere and do not adhere to the 4 model beverage standards.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This work was conducted with Samuels Center staff and I have provided oversight in all aspects of this research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.