Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 38, Supplement 1, pp 56–73 | Cite as

A Review of Environmental Influences on Food Choices

  • Nicole LarsonEmail author
  • Mary Story
Original Article



Diet-related environmental and policy interventions are being advocated at a population level because individual change is more likely to be facilitated and sustained if the environment within which choices are made supports healthful food options.


This study aims to review research that examines factors having an influence on food choices in social environments, physical environments, and macroenvironments.


A snowball strategy was used to identify relevant peer-reviewed studies and reviews, with a focus on research completed in the US and published within the past 10 years.


Research has identified a number of environmental factors associated with dietary intake; however, the majority of completed studies have methodological limitations which limit their credibility to guide interventions and policy changes.


Future research will need to emphasize multilevel investigations, examine how associations vary across population subgroups, develop a standard set of measures for assessing food environments and policies, and improve dietary assessment methodology.


Dietary intake Eating behavior Social norms Environment Policy 



This paper was supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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