Environmental influences on eating and physical activity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1103 Scopus citations


Obesity has increased dramatically over the past two decades and currently about 50% of US adults and 25% of US children are overweight. The current epidemic of obesity is caused largely by an environment that promotes excessive food intake and discourages physical activity. This chapter reviews what is known about environmental influences on physical activity and eating behaviors. Recent trends in food supply, eating out, physical activity, and inactivity are reviewed, as are the effects of advertising, promotion, and pricing on eating and physical activity. Public health interventions, opportunities, and potential strategies to combat the obesity epidemic by promoting an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-335
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
StatePublished - 2001


  • Environmental change
  • Obesity prevention


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