Military Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool (m-Neat)
m-NEAT helps DoD communities measure accessibility to healthy food options. m-NEAT appraisals assess environmental factors and policies at the community level that support healthy eating. The tool was developed to help health promotion professionals, commanding officers, and others in the DoD community measure accessibility to healthy food options.
The m-NEAT Appraisal can help:
- Create a community nutrition coalition or committee to continually address issues on an ongoing basis.
- Gather information about the community in relation to the nutrition environment.
- Engage community members and stakeholders in the project.
- Develop a strategic plan to address and monitor community assets and deficits.
Environmental factors that affect eating behaviors are numerous, but there has been limited work done on the subject. Some demographic variables that impact nutrition related health issues such as age, ethnicity or sex cannot be changed; but factors such as dietary intake, sedentary lifestyle and the nutritional environment can be modified. Examples of nutrition environmental changes include increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables at worksites, galleys and food courts; working with NEXCOM and AAFES food courts and contracted food services to provide menu recipe analyses; encouraging command worksites to provide formal policies so that healthy snacks are provided at meetings; increasing media promotion of healthy foods; or modifying other food service environments to provide a greater number of options that are healthier. The changes listed are not exhaustive of those that can be implemented, but provide examples of the way the environment influences eating behavior.
The first step in improving a military community's support of healthy eating is the completion of the m-NEAT appraisal.
Download the m-NEAT Community Assessment Tool >>
For complete step-by-step instructions on how to complete the m-NEAT, please download the m-NEAT Facilitator Guide.
Once complete, submit your assessment via email to:
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