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.
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.