Association of food environment and food retailers with obesity in US adults

Health Place. 2015 May;33:19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


The food environment has been shown to be a factor affecting the obesity rate. We studied the association of density of food retailer type with obesity rate in U.S. adults in local regions controlling for socioeconomic factors. Parametric nonlinear regression was used on publically available data (year=2009) at the county level. We used the results of this association to estimate the impact of the addition of a new food retailer type in a geographic region. Obesity rate increased in supercenters (0.25-0.28%) and convenience stores (0.05%) and decreased in grocery stores (0.08%) and specialized food stores (0.27-0.36%). The marginal measures estimated in this work could be useful in identifying regions where interventions based on food retailer type would be most effective.

Keywords: Food environment; Food retailers; Obesity rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Commerce*
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology