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Obesogenic environments: exploring the built and food environments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amelia Lake, Professor Tim Townshend



Obesity is a significant health and social problem which has reached pandemic levels. The obesogenicity of an environment has been defined as ‘the sum of influences that the surroundings, opportunities, or conditions of life have on promoting obesity in individuals or populations’.1 Prevention and treatment of obesity has focused on pharmacological, educational and behavioural interventions, with limited overall success. A novel and a longer-term approach would be to investigate the environments that promote high energy intake and sedentary behaviour; this has not yet been fully understood. The obesity epidemic has attracted attention at all levels, from general media interest to policy and practice from health and other professions including urban designers and planners. Shaping the environment to better support healthful decisions has the potential to be a key aspect of a successful obesity prevention intervention. Thus in order to develop effective environmental interventions, in relation to obesity, we need to understand how individuals, and different groups of individuals, interact with their environments in terms of physical activity and food intake.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lake AA, Townshend T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Year: 2006

Volume: 126

Issue: 6

Pages: 262-267

Print publication date: 01/11/2006

Date deposited: 07/12/2009

ISSN (print): 1466-4240

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1466424006070487


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