Nutrition Environment

The Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity works to improve access to physical activity following guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Environmental approaches strive to make healthy behaviors easier and more convenient for Americans. Program efforts target communities, worksites, early care and education (ECE), and schools. 

Hispanic Stores

In partnership with IDPH, Iowa State University will test the reliability and validity of a Latino version of the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey – Stores (NEMS-S) that will be used for pre- and post-assessments for healthy Hispanic retail interventions for targeted communities. 

Also collaborating with IDPH, University of Iowa College of Public Health will develop a healthy retail intervention toolkit for implementation in Latino food stores in Muscatine, West Liberty, Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Iowa City and Perry.


IDPH has developed a Healthy Vending Iowa initiative that is being implemented on the Iowa Capitol Complex.  Please visit www.nems-v.com for the vending machine assessment tool (Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Vending or NEMS-V) , NEMS-V Healthy Choices Calculator and phone application, worksite and vendor videos, Mix-it-up social marketing campaign and other resources to implement healthy vending in the worksite.

Early Care and Education

IDPH is working with targeted child care centers and consultants to complete the Nutrition And Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC) and set nutrition goals based on best practices.  For more information about NAPSACC, visit www.gonapsacc.org

Click here to learn more about Mary Elizabeth Chlid Care in Woodbury County and how they used NAP SACC to improve their nutrition and physical activity environment.


IDPH in partnership with the Department of Education, worked to create a supportive nutrition environment in schools.  One of the strategies is to increase access to safe, free drinking water throughout the school campus.  For information on other strategies, check out the School Wellness page on the Department of Education website. 

Prior nutrition efforts were developed through the Iowans Fit for Life program.  Please see the Resources tab for toolkits and nutrition resources developed to support the nutrition environment during the previous funding period.