Measuring policy actions for healthy and sustainable food and physical activity environments; A SIG Policies and Environment’ Webinar


September 22, 2020, 7:00 AM GMT



Dr. Janas Harrington ((School of Public Health, University of College Cork, Ireland)

Prof. Boyd Swinburn (Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor with the Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Melbourne)

Dr. Sven Messing (Institut für Sportwissenschaft und Sport Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)

Ms. Tracy Nau (Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney)

Prof. Bill Bellew (School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney)


Prof. Catherine Woods (Physical Activity for Health Research Cluster, Health Research Institute, University of Limerick)

Prof. Adrian Bauman (School of Public Health, University of Sydney)



This symposium will present, discuss and critique the learnings from international studies on physical activity and food policy monitoring and evaluation.


Policy is about changing systems not people. Public policies involve a mix of complex decisions and actions. The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO action plans for physical activity and nutrition highlight the need to move beyond targeting individual behaviour change to implementing broader policy and system approaches, focusing not only on health but also on sustainability. Guidance is needed on how to effectively monitor policy interventions for accountability and impact, this symposium will present initial ideas for review.


  1. To propose monitoring systems for municipal policy implementation for sustainable and healthy diets: Learnings from INFORMAS, PEN (Policy Evaluation Network) and NOURISHING.
  2. To present research on physical activity policy monitoring and evaluation in Europe and Australia, examining monitoring tools and new frameworks for usefulness and potential to adress health and sustainabilty issues.
  3. To critique the proposed frameworks and indicators from a practical, applied perspective and provide academics and civil society organisations with tools for monitoring for accountability.

Summary: This symposium will take the learnings from international studies using policy monitoring frameworks and benchmarking tools to propose a systematic monitoring system. It will also present a set of indicators to measure policy implementation for healthy and sustainable physical activity and food environments and critique current knowledge and practice from a practical applied perspective.

Format: This session consists of three oral presentations, a discussion and an open forum. The Chair (5 mins) will set the scene, i.e. the role of health and sustainability in physical activity and food policy. Oral 1 (15 mins) will give an overview of both PEN (Policy Evaluation Network; and INFORMAS ( and how they are addressing food policy challenges for sustainability and health. Oral 2 (15 mins) will compare the physical activity policy environment in four EU PEN countries, focusing on monitoring, sustainability and health. Oral 3 (10 mins) will present the Australian systems approach to physical activity as a policy framework. An open forum (15 mins), led by Professors Boyd Swinburn and Adrian Bauman will conclude the session.