Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obesogenic environments: a systematic review

http://www.spotlightproject.eu/Our 'physical' environment- i.e. the availability and accessibility of opportunities to be physically active and eat healthy foods- may be of influence on our odds to become overweight or not. E.g. in an environment that offers many opportunities for physical activity, and in which the health food choice is the default food choice the risk of gaining unnecessary weight may be slimmer than in a car friendly and fast food environment. Understanding which aspects of this physical environment may be of influence on adult obesity is thus important for public health and urban planning. We have conducted an updated review of the scientific literature on associations of physical environmental factors with adult weight status, in which we have explicitly taken the methodological quality of the reviewed studies into account. This study was just published online in BMC Public Health. Joreintje Mackenbach was first authors on this paper, and the study was part of the European Commission-funded SPOTLIGHT project. Based on the available scientific literature, urban sprawl and land use mix are consistently associated with weight status. However this available evidence is based on North American studies only.