Community Data

This page highlights our annual collection and analysis of policy and environmental data from communities across the country. To see products from other research activities, click on the "Research" tab above.

Beverage Availability in Food Stores Nationwide

Research Brief

Beverage Availability in Food Stores Nationwide

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Child-Directed Marketing Fast Food

Research Brief

Child-Directed Marketing Within and Around Fast-Food Restaurants

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Bridging the Gap Community Obesity Measures Project

The Bridging the Gap Community Obesity Measures Project (BTG-COMP) focuses on policy and environmental factors at the community level that are likely to be important determinants of healthy eating, physical activity, and obesity among youth. Starting in 2010, data are being collected in a nationally representative sample of 150-200 communities each year. This project builds on BTG's previous community data collection, which was conducted from 1999 to 2003 and focused primarily on tobacco and substance use among youth. The current project also includes a component on the availability and marketing of tobacco products in communities.

For the purposes of this study, a “community” is defined as the catchment area around a school (i.e., the geographic area from which a school draws its student population). In each sampled community, the research involves three major components:

Policy: Collection and coding of county/municipal ordinances, regulations and master plans addressing the nutrition environment and the physical activity environment as well as school district-level wellness policies;

Nutrition: On-site observation of local retail food outlets, including food stores and fast food restaurants; and

Physical Activity: On-site observation of local physical activity settings and assessment of the walkability/bikeability of the community environment.

The research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago is leading the BTG-COMP data collection efforts. These policy and environmental data will later be merged with data on youth attitudes and behaviors from the NIDA-funded Monitoring the Future study (administered by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research), with school policy/practice data, and state policy data to identify possible associations between local/state policies, community environmental factors, and health behaviors and outcomes among youth.

Contact Information:

University of Illinois at Chicago

Institute for Health Research and Policy

1747 W. Roosevelt Road

Room 558, M/C 275

Chicago, IL 60608
Telephone: (312) 413-4884



Research tools coming soon.