There is growing interest in the role of the environment in promoting or hindering healthy eating. It has been suggested that individual change is more likely to be facilitated and sustained if the environment within which choices are made supports healthful food options. While there has been a shift in attention to environmental and policy determinants of eating behavior, the evidence to date is limited. This article reviews research that examines factors having an influence on food choices in: 1) social environments, such as family, peers, and social networks; 2) physical environments, including schools, child care, worksites, retail food stores, and restaurants; and 3) macro-environments, such as socioeconomic status, cultural norms and values, food marketing, and food and agricultural policy. Future research directions are also discussed.
A Review of Environmental Influences on Food Choices
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More