Obesity prevalence and the local food environment

Health Place. 2009 Jun;15(2):491-495. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 7.


Disparities in access to healthy foods have been identified particularly in the United States. Fewer studies have measured the effects these disparities have on diet-related health outcomes. This study measured the association between the presence of food establishments and obesity among 1295 adults living in the southern region of the United States. The prevalence of obesity was lower in areas that had supermarkets and higher in area with small grocery stores or fast food restaurants. Our findings are consistent with other studies showing that types of food stores and restaurants influence food choices and, subsequently, diet-related health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mississippi / epidemiology
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Socioeconomic Factors