CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo

Food and Nutrition

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence"

Submission Deadline: Friday, June 12, 2020

Table of Contents:


The APHA Food & Nutrition Section (FN) invites abstracts and full session proposals for the 2020 APHA Annual Meeting, which will feature the theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence” on October 24 - October 28, 2020 in San Francisco, CA.

We are accepting submissions representing a wide range of food and nutrition topics. In recognition of the 2020 APHA Annual Meeting theme, we are particularly interested in submissions that highlight socio-cultural, political, and contextual factors (e.g., violence, discrimination, political views, etc.) and their impact on food and nutrition. We are also interested in proposals that apply an equity lens to nutrition-related research, policies, and programming. We welcome abstracts on research or practice, in the public or private sectors, examining subjects such as:

  • Social determinants of health and their intersections with food and nutrition policies or programs.
  • Inequities in social structures and processes that affect food and nutrition behaviors or outcomes.
  • Cross-sector solutions to food and nutrition-related disparities in a variety of settings such as the workplace, home, and community.
  • Nutrition and nutrition behavior across the lifespan.
  • Nutrition-related issues facing vulnerable populations such as individuals living with disabilities, refugees, and individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Innovative research methodologies in food and nutrition.

Plans for the Food and Nutrition (FN) Sessions

  • The final program will consist of a combination of 1) poster and oral sessions compiled from individually contributed abstracts, 2) full panel sessions, fully compiled and coordinated by submitting parties and 3) invited and collaborative sessions on important topics identified by section leadership.
  • The FN Section is seeking abstracts and full panel session proposals that highlight research, evidenced-based practice, policies, and theoretical ideas. Abstracts that combine nutrition with other disciplines such as school health, community health, physical activity, maternal and child health, environmental health, transportation, land use, equity and environmental justice, communications, statistics, law, and/or other disciplines are of particular interest.
  • The FN Section seeks both international and domestic representation, with a particular interest in programs and interventions that serve populations most affected by diet-related diseases and that strive to address health equity.
  • Student abstracts are strongly encouraged. The FN Section will present an award to the highest scoring student abstract at the section awards ceremony in San Francisco, CA. Award recipients must attend the conference, or forfeit their award.


All persons making a presentation at the Annual Meeting & Exposition must pay a registration fee in order to participate in the program. All persons presenting an abstract must become individual members of APHA and must register for the annual meeting in order to make their presentations. APHA does not pay honoraria or expenses to any presenter.

Presentations may not be submitted to multiple Sections, SPIGs, Caucuses or Forums and may be presented only one time during the Annual Meeting & Expo. The presentation may not be presented or published prior to the APHA Annual Meeting. 


Research Presentations

Abstracts describing scientific research should focus on new knowledge, trends and solutions in public health nutrition.

Program or Policy Presentations

Program or policy abstracts should describe the application of knowledge to real-world problems or policies. Many times these types of abstracts are referred to as public health in practice.  


  • Individual abstract contributions are welcome. Program planners will combine accepted individual abstracts into 90 minute oral sessions (4-5 individual abstracts of 15-20 minute oral presentations) and poster sessions (sets of 10 posters organized and presented together within a 60 minute session). Program planners might also elect to organize a 90 minute roundtable session encompassing up to 10 individual abstracts for a topic.
  • Please indicate in your submission the preferred type of presentation (oral only, poster, or no preference).  Your indication of no preference will allow your abstract to be considered for a greater number of session types.
  • Please indicate in the comment box the type of abstract you are submitting (Research/Theoretical Idea, or Program/Policy).
  • Abstract text should be no less than 150 words and no more than 250 words.
  • Include 2-3 measurable objectives with your abstract (see continuing education credit instructions below; although only 1 objective for CE is required the section would like 2-3 objectives).
  • Abstracts should be free of trade and commercial product names including, for example, Wal-Mart, SPSS, Stata, ArcGIS, Food ProcessorSQL, Dun & Bradstreet, and InfoUSA.
  • Persons submitting individual abstracts will be notified by email regarding the status of their submissions by June 2nd.

To review examples of accepted abstracts from past meetings, click on the following link:


Persons submitting full session proposals must send a session overview to the FN Section Program Planning Chair AND submit all individual abstracts for each speaker online by the above mentioned deadline.

Proposals for full panel sessions are welcome. Full panel sessions are comprised of invited speakers who will address different aspects of the same topic of interest or a set of closely related topics. They generally include a session introduction by a moderator, 3-4 key presenters, and a discussant.

All proposals should contain an overview document (should not exceed two pages, single-spaced) with the following information in the order listed below:

1) Session organizer’s name, affiliation, complete mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers (on top of page 1).

2) Brief overview including the title, relevance (purpose and importance) of the proposed session.

3) Two to three learning objectives for the session (see continuing education credit instructions below).

4) List of proposed invited speakers (including any discussant or presiding individual), their affiliations and proposed presentation topics, and individual abstract submission numbers. DO NOT SUBMIT INDIVIDUAL ABSTRACT TEXT.

5) Session Timeline/Agenda: Detailed schedule for an hour and a half session. Please list the start and end time for each moderator, presenter, and discussant, the presenter’s name (underlined) and all other authors and 1-3 sentences on the goal of the specific presentation. Please begin the session timeline at 0:00 hrs and end it at 1:30. Presentations may be up to 30 minutes in length.

Due to the large number of abstracts the FN section receives each year, failure to follow this format and adhere to the 2-page maximum will result in your proposal not being considered for inclusion in the program.

  • The overview document for all full panel session proposals - as outlined above - must be submitted by email to the FN Program Chair by the abstract submission deadline. The overview documents are not submitted through the online system. See below for email address.
  • In addition to the proposal overview document, a complete abstract for each proposed presentation will need to be submitted online via the contributed abstracts system by February 20th. Abstracts are not required for the session introduction or discussion. Each abstract must follow the format guidelines for individually contributed abstracts and include 2-3 measurable learning objectives (see continuing education credit instructions below).
  • When invited speakers/panelists for full panel sessions submit their abstracts online, they should write in the comment box "I am an invited panel member." Once the panelist receives his/her abstract number, he/she must send it to the session organizer who is in turn responsible for sending all abstract numbers to the FN Section Program Planning Chair. This ensures that all panelists in the full/invited session are placed together.
  • If a full panel session is not accepted as proposed, the individual abstracts for the session submitted online will still be considered for the program (if the speakers would like) and may be assigned to the session(s) in which they fit best.
  • We encourage full panel sessions to allow time for discussion and questions from the audience. In the past, point/counterpoint and panel discussions that engage the audience have been well received. This format should be highlighted in the submission text and timeline.
  • If the session will include the release of any new reports or data, this should be mentioned in the proposal, along with any plans to promote the session to news media.
  • All sessions will be reviewed by the FN Section Program Planning Committee. Acceptance notices will be sent to full session organizers no later than June 2, 2020. Please consider that proposals are competitive. If accepted, organizers and presenters will be requested to complete a conflict of interest disclosure.

Full panel session overviews should be sent to:

Chelsea R. Singleton, PhD, MPH

2020 Food & Nutrition Section Program Chair



All applicants are encouraged to consider an abstract relevant to the 2020 Annual Meeting theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence.” Individual abstracts should be submitted to one of the topics listed below. Please note that these topics are used for sorting purposes only. While we would like you to select and submit under the category that best represents the focus of your abstract, abstracts will not be evaluated based on their ability to fit within a given topical area.

  • Oral Session 1
  • Oral Session 10
  • Oral Session 2
  • Oral Session 3
  • Oral Session 4
  • Oral Session 5
  • Oral Session 6
  • Oral Session 7
  • Oral Session 8
  • Oral Session 9
  • Poster Session 1
  • Roundtable Session

Research Presentations

Abstracts must include the following four elements (please include these section headings in your abstract text):

1) Introduction – purpose and background/context and purpose of topic/issue investigation;

2) Methods – research methodology in terms of data collection and study design;

3) Results – specific study findings. For studies in progress, list results or outcomes that will be presented at APHA; and,

4) Discussion - importance or significance of the findings.

Program or Policy Presentations

Abstracts must include the following four elements (please include these section headings in your abstract text):

1) Introduction –problem statement and background of program, topic, or issue;

2) Approach – program development, implementation, and/or evaluation; strategies/policies to address problem

3) Results – program or policy impact and,

4) Discussion - importance or significance of the program or policy.

All Abstracts will be Evaluated Using the Following Review Criteria

Abstract Content – specific to presenting topic, must be of sound science, evidence-based practice and serve to maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills and competence of the health professional. Content must be objective, free from bias and promotion, no use of commercial entities, products, services, logos, or brand names.

Learning Outcomes – at least one measurable learning outcome that reflects what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in this educational activity (no compound outcomes - list each outcome separately)

GAP addressed – Were gaps addressed?  Was it based on sound science, evidence-based (promising practice) that identified the change in skills, knowledge, and/or the opportunity for improvement?

Competency - Did the abstract address a core competency in public health, nursing, medicine or health education? (Additional information on core competencies located here:

Quality of Written Abstract – Was the abstract coherent? Did the abstract clearly state the purpose and/or relevance?

Relevance to Public Health Nutrition - For example, is this timely from a policy or science perspective? Is there potential for large-scale impact?

Importance of Topic - How important is this topic to the field? Does the research appear to be of high quality? OR, is the policy/program aligned with upcoming policy discourse?

Qualification Statement – Did the presenter clearly describe his/her qualification and areas of expertise? Example: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.

Adherence to instruction for submission and formatting - NOTE: *Abstracts that do not follow directions will receive lower scores*


APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter must provide:

1) An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names.

2) At least one MEASURABLE outcome. 

Use ONLY the following verbs: Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.

Do NOT use “to understand” or “to learn” (as they are not measurable outcomes); and do not submit compound outcomes.  

3) A signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant Qualification Statement. See an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement on the online Disclosure form.

Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement:

Good Example: I am qualified because I have conducted research in the area of maternal and child health for the past 20 years and have given multiple presentations on this subject.

Bad Example: I am qualified because I am a professor at XYZ University.

Contact Mighty Fine at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner listed below.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Chelsea Singleton, PhD, MPH
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2017 Khan Annex, Huff Hall, MC-588
1206 S Fourth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-300-8139

Mary Larson, PhD, MPH, RD, CHES
Department of Public Health
North Dakota State University
Department 2662
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: 701-231-8603