Background: 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. Purpose: This study aims to review research that examines factors having an influence on food choices in social environments, physical environments, and macroenvironments. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements This paper was supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program.
- Dietary intake
- Eating behavior
- Social norms