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 USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More
Policymakers worldwide are considering requiring warnings for sugary drinks. A growing number of experimental studies have examined sugary drink warnings’ impacts, but no research to our knowledge has synthesized this literature. To inform ongoing policy debates, this study aimed to identify the effects of sugary drink warnings compared with control … More