We identified fifty-one peer-reviewed studies that geospatially analyzed the relationship between the community nutrition environment (CNE) and obesity. Eighty percent of studies found at least one significant association between the CNE and obesity. However we calculated the proportion of studies that found at least one significant association between the CNE and obesity in the expected direction for each food store type and measurement technique, and the proportion across the different store types and measurement techniques was just 32 %. Different methods for classifying, locating, and analyzing food stores produced mixed results and challenged direct study level comparison.
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This research was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1-U48-DP001908 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevention Research Centers Program.
The findings and conclusions in this review are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Appendix 1: Studies Included in the Review, Identification #s
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Leung CW, Laraia BA, Kelly M, Nickleach D, Adler NE, Kushi LH, et al. The influence of neighborhood food stores on change in young girls’ body mass index. Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41:43–51.
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Appendix 2: Food Store Descriptions
|1. Beverage and snack foods|
|2. Chain grocer|
|3. Chain restaurant|
|4. Convenience store|
|5. Direct farm sales|
|6. Drug store|
|7. Emergency food providers|
|8. Ethnic food store|
|9. Ethnic supermarket|
|10. Farmer’s market|
|11. Fast food restaurant|
|12. Food retail of any type|
|13. Full-service restaurant|
|14. Grocery store|
|15. Healthy BMI store|
|16. Healthy food places|
|17. Healthy grocery store|
|18. Independent restaurant|
|19. Independently owned grocery store|
|20. Independent supermarket|
|21. Intermediate BMI store|
|22. Limited service restaurant|
|23. Non fast food restaurant|
|24. Restaurant total|
|25. Sit down restaurant|
|26. Small food store/grocery store|
|27. Specialty store|
|30. Supermarkets and produce vendors|
|31. Unhealthy BMI store|
|32. Unhealthy food places|
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Cite this article
Gamba, R.J., Schuchter, J., Rutt, C. et al. Measuring the Food Environment and its Effects on Obesity in the United States: A Systematic Review of Methods and Results. J Community Health 40, 464–475 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-014-9958-z
- Food environment
- Food access
- Community nutrition environment