Obesogenic Environments / Edition 1

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In a world where obesity has now reached epidemic proportions, a thorough understanding of the underlying causes of the problem is essential if society, public health initiatives and government policies are to successfully address the issue. The obesogenic environment describes all the possible influences that our environment presents which encourage overweight and obesity in individuals and populations. Beginning with an overarching introduction to obesity and its implications for health and wellbeing, the book will move on to consider such crucial areas as eating behaviours and food environments, physical activity and the environment, the urban environment, methods, policy and future research directions.
• Brings together expertise from across a range of disciplines
• Written by a truly multidisciplinary team of international authors
• Presents some of the most innovative thinking in the battle against obesity This groundbreaking book brings together for the first time the knowledge of experts with backgrounds in nutrition and dietetics, policy, epidemiology, environmental sciences, medical sciences, town planning and urban design, transport, geography and physical activity in order to offer a multidisciplinary approach to public health, suggesting new and exciting ways to shape our environment to better support healthful decisions.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Kathleen M Tharp, PhD, MPH, RD (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This book describes environmental and policy components that contribute to obesity, examining current tools to collect data and the available evidence, and presenting potential interventions to create healthier environments.
Purpose: The purpose is to examine all of the ways in which the environment contributes to overweight and obesity in individuals and populations. Given the unabated global trend of increasing overweight and obesity, there is great need to understand the various influences leading to weight gain. This book provides a comprehensive look at those influences.
Audience: While the editors do not explicitly state their intended audience, they do indicate that the book provides a multidisciplinary approach to public health. I can recommend the book for students and public health practitioners.
Features: The authors discuss the role of individual healthy eating and active living behaviors, the built environment, and policies. The book also presents sources of current data, methods for collecting and examining new evidence, the current evidence base, and implications for future public health interventions. The book particularly focuses on physical activity and the environment, including issues related to walkability, availability and accessibility of environments, school physical activity policies, active travel, and green space. One whole chapter is devoted to defining and mapping environments, which gives a helpful description of GIS mapping and other tools. The role of media and worksite interventions are mentioned, but not covered in detail.
Assessment: This is a useful guide for public health practitioners interested in understanding current evidence and data for interventions around food and physical activity environments and policies. To my knowledge, this is the first book to take an entirely environmental and policy approach to looking at obesity influences across the lifespan.
From the Publisher
"However, one of its strengths is that it helps demonstrate that obesity, just like road deaths, cannot be blamed on individual responsibility." (Manchester Climate Monthly, 5 March 2012)

"This is a useful guide for public health practitioners interested in understanding current evidence and data for interventions around food and physical activity environments and policies. To my knowledge, this is the first book to take an entirely environmental and policy approach to looking at obesity influences across the lifespan." (Doody's, 26 August 2011)

"Obesogenic Enviornments: Complexities, Perception and Objective Meaures, is a ground-breaking book because, for the first time, it takes a mutidisciplinary approach to public health". (NHD - Network Health Dietitians, 1 November 2010)

"This book considers environmental factors which encourage overweight and obesity, including those having an impact on physical activity, food intake and eating behaviour".

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405182638
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Amelia A Lake, Senior Lecturer in Food and Nutrition, Applied Biosciences, School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK

Tim Townshend, Director of Planning and Urban Design & Senior Lecturer in Urban Design, School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University, UK

Dr Seraphim Alvanides, Reader in GISc and the Built Env, Northumbria University, UK

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Table of Contents


About the Editors



1 An International Perspective on Obesity and Obesogenic Environments Neville Rigby Rigby, Neville 1

1.1 Introduction: the emergence of obesity 1

1.2 The magnitude of the problem 2

1.3 The basis for the current underestimated burden of obesity 2

1.4 Individual susceptibility to weight gain and the persistence of obesity 4

1.5 The environmental basis for the obesity epidemic 4

2 Towards Transdisciplinary Approaches to Tackle Obesity Amelia A. Lake Lake, Amelia A. 11

2.1 The focus on interdisciplinary research 11

2.2 Defining modes of interdisciplinarity 12

2.3 The complexity of obesity 13

2.4 The challenge of interdisciplinary understanding 15

2.4.1 Lessons from the field of sustainability 15

2.4.2 Language as a barrier 16

2.4.3 Academic positioning 16

2.4.4 Summary of barriers 17

2.5 Interdisciplinary policy and practice 17

2.6 Discussion 18

3 Walkability, Neighbourhood Design and Obesity Billie Giles-Corti Giles-Corti, Billie 21

3.1 Introduction 21

3.2 What is walkability? 21

3.3 Measuring walkability 23

3.4 Linking neighbourhood design aspects of walkability to obesity 23

3.4.1 Walkability and obesity 23

3.5 Breaking down walkability 24

3.5.1 Density 24

3.5.2 Land use mix 26

3.5.3 Street connectivity 26

3.6 Urban sprawl, geographic location and obesity 26

3.7 Other design features and obesity 27

3.8 Neighbourhood design as a moderator 28

3.9 Summary of findings and future directions in research on the impact of neighbourhood design and/or walkability and obesity? 28

3.9.1 Study design 29

3.9.2 Neighbourhood definition 31

3.9.3 Measurement 32

3.10 Summary 34

4 Availability and Accessibility in Physical Activity Environments Jenna Panter Panter, Jenna 41

4.1 Introduction 41

4.2 The concept of availability and accessibility 41

4.3 Perceived and objective measures of the physical activity environment 45

4.3.1 Perceived measures of the environment 45

4.3.2 Objective measures of the environment 47

4.4 Comparing perceived and objective measures 49

4.5 Relationships with utilisation 50

4.6 Equity of access and facility provision 51

4.7 Conclusions 55

5 Defining and Mapping Obesogenic Environments for Children Kimberley L. Edwards Edwards, Kimberley L. 63

5.1 Children's obesogenic environments 63

5.2 Advantages of mapping obesogenic environments in children 65

5.3 How to map obesogenic environments - data representation 66

5.4 Problems with spatial data 69

5.5 Spatial analysis techniques 71

5.6 Conclusion 75

5.7 Acknowledgements 76

6 Objective Measurement of Children's Physical Activity in the Environment: UK Perspective Angie Page Page, Angie 81

6.1 UK policy and research context 81

6.2 A brief review of current studies in the United Kingdom 82

6.2.1 CAPABLE: Children's Activities, Perceptions and Behaviour in the Local Environment 82

6.2.2 SPEEDY: Sport, Physical activity and Eating behaviour: Environmental Determinants in Young people 82

6.2.3 PEACH: Personal and Environmental Associations with Children's Health 83

6.3 Objective measurement in physical activity research 84

6.3.1 Motion sensors 84

6.3.2 Use of GPS to investigate children's spatial mobility 87

6.3.3 Combining GPS and accelerometry 89

6.4 Conclusion 91

7 Physical Activity and Environments Which Promote Active Living in Youth (US) Brian E. Saelens Saelens, Brian E. 97

7.1 Introduction 97

7.1.1 Background 97

7.2 Case examples 98

7.3 School and child care 100

7.3.1 Active transport to school 100

7.3.2 Within-school environments 102

7.3.3 After-school programs 104

7.3.4 Child care settings 104

7.4 Community settings (home/neighbourhood) 105

7.4.1 Young children 105

7.4.2 School-age children and adolescents 106

7.5 Conclusions and future research 109

8 Active Travel Roger L. Mackett Mackett, Roger L. 117

8.1 The potential for active travel 117

8.2 Trends in active travel 118

8.3 Barriers to active travel 119

8.4 Overcoming the barriers to active travel 123

8.5 Policies and measures to increase the volume of active travel 126

8.6 The effectiveness of policies and measures to increase the volume of active travel 127

8.7 Conclusions 128

9 Greenspace, Obesity and Health: Evidence and Issues Caroline Brown Brown, Caroline 133

9.1 Introduction 133

9.2 Greenspace, health and obesity 133

9.3 Greenspace, obesity and food 135

9.4 Greenspace and physical activity 137

9.4.1 Greenspace as a setting for exercise 137

9.4.2 Greenspace as a motivation for exercise 139

9.5 Greenspace and children's health 140

9.6 Greenspace provision and policy 141

9.6.1 The historic context 142

9.6.2 The institutional context 142

9.6.3 The policy context 143

9.7 Conclusions 145

10 Eating Behaviours and the Food Environment Jo Salmon Salmon, Jo 149

10.1 Introduction 149

10.2 Which eating behaviours influence obesity risk? 149

10.3 What do we know about the influence of the food environment on eating behaviours? 150

10.4 Adults 150

10.4.1 Observational studies 150

10.4.2 Experimental studies 151

10.5 Children and adolescents 153

10.5.1 Observational studies 153

10.5.2 Experimental studies 154

10.6 Summary of evidence 155

10.7 How should we interpret existing evidence? 155

10.8 Defining the neighbourhood environment 155

10.8.1 Should we assess subjective or objective food environments? 156

10.8.2 The importance of understanding the behavioural context 157

10.8.3 Are existing conceptual models adequate and appropriate? 157

10.9 Conclusions and future research directions 158

11 Food Policy and Food Governance - Changing Behaviours Jane L. Midgley Midgley, Jane L. 165

11.1 Introduction 165

11.2 Dietary guidelines and recommendations with reference to obesity prevention 168

11.3 Individual versus the environment 168

11.4 Food policy 169

11.4.1 The overarching food policy landscape 170

11.4.2 Public health 171

11.4.3 Agriculture 172

11.4.4 Planning policy 173

11.5 Food provision and food access 175

11.6 Future for food policy 177

12 Neighbourhood Histories and Health: Social Deprivation and Food Retailing in Christchurch, New Zealand, 1966-2005 Peter Day Day, Peter 183

12.1 Introduction 183

12.1.1 Data and methods 186

12.2 Results 187

12.3 Discussion 193

12.4 Conclusion 194

12.5 Acknowledgement 195

13 Environmental Correlates of Nutrition and Physical Activity: Moving Beyond the Promise Johnannes Brug Brug, Johnannes 199

13.1 Introduction 199

13.2 Environmental correlates of physical activity and diet: underlying reasons for promising findings 199

13.3 Environmental correlates of physical activity 200

13.4 Environmental correlates of diet 202

13.5 Moving beyond the promise: a research agenda 202

13.5.1 Providing robust answers to the right questions 203

13.5.2 Development and application of a true socio-ecological theory 204

13.5.3 Integrating different elements of the environment 205

13.5.4 Improving the measurement of (physical) environmental characteristics 206

13.5.5 Exploring environmental-individual interactions 208

13.5.6 Improving statistical methods: beyond multilevel modelling 208

13.5.7 Improving causality 209

13.5.8 Taking the broader context into account 210

13.6 Concluding remark 211

14 Obesogenic Environments: Challenges and Opportunities Amelia A. Lake Lake, Amelia A. 215

14.1 Introduction 215

14.2 Complexities 215

14.3 Perceptions 217

14.4 Objective measures 218

14.5 Future directions 219

Index 221

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