Learning Objective #1:
Understand the purpose of a Community Nutrition Report Card

1. What is a Community Nutrition Report Card?

The community’s food environment affects what people eat. The Community Nutrition Report Card tells you how your community is doing compared to benchmarks for a healthy food environment. This app-generated report contains community indicators and their score, suggested Recommendations, and Resources/Success Stories.

2. What is the purpose of creating a Community Nutrition Report Card?

It can help:

1. Raise awareness and start conversations about what the food environment looks like in your community and how it affects what children and youth eat and drink.

  • Sometimes different community stakeholders do not realize how the actions they take or the policies they have can impact health.

“it’s [the Community Nutrition Report Card] a really good conversation starter. Like a reason to start a conversation with these different organizations, rather than just calling them out of the blue and being like, ‘hey, want to talk about healthy eating environments?’ (P10).”

“We thought by sharing it publicly, it would help bring greater awareness to the impact that settings have on eating. There is still a fair bit of resistance… a little bit of questioning about, ‘well, you can’t tell people what they should eat or why a vending contractor should price food a certain way.’ And it’s like, ‘yes.’ And so, you have that conversation about the effect that the eating environment has on people’s choices. And how when it’s in a public environment—yes, it’s a private business—but in a public environment there is that responsibility, I think, that expectation and awareness that you’re impacting people’s health. So, I think by putting it—by making that report card public, it would help with some of that awareness and knowledge sharing (P8).”

2. To align community priorities and help guide the actions of community stakeholders

  • It helps you identify what is working well and areas of improvement.
  • The results will help your community stakeholders focus their efforts and develop concrete goals towards healthier food environments.

“We can look at it [the Community Nutrition Report Card] and go, ‘Okay, this is how we were doing in 2019. Now it’s 2022, how far have we come from there?’ Right. I think it’s a good tool to use as a reminder of the need to continue moving forward and to get better. But it gives us something to move forward from (P18).”

“I think like the divisions only want to have healthier school communities. Like, that is their goal. And sometimes they just don’t know how to do that…. So, if you’re going to come in and just provide support in a positive way, then for sure they’re going to be willing and open (P13).”

“But I think the challenge is just working with all the different partners… and knowing that healthy eating probably isn’t their priority. It’s certainly mine but not theirs. So, it’s helping them recognize how those eating environments really do contribute, and can contribute, to their bottom line too (P8).”

3. To gain community wide support for creating healthy food environments

  • When developing the Community Nutrition Report Card, build support by engaging a wide range of community stakeholders.
  • Use the Community Nutrition Report Card to demonstrate the need for change and use the recommendations to outline possible changes.

“But this [the BFE project] has provided kind of more of a springboard to get buy-in and see success in the community than when they just go in as a dietitian saying, ‘have you considered making this change.’ They’re seeing a lot more success and buy-in through this process (P14).”