Global F&V Newsletter

Food environment and the impact on food consumption


Our obesogenic environment is tempting us to perform unhealthy behaviors, leading to overweight and obesity. This environment is a complex system of interactions between multiple environmental characteristics. As the level of urbanization is increasing, more individuals will be exposed to the same environment. This further endorses the relevance to better understand the relationship between the environment and health behaviors. In this current issue, the first article written by Jean-Michel Lecerf provides a comprehensive overview of several types of environments and their impact on metabolism with respect of obesity.

The impact of the food environment on obesity is, among others, influenced by economic welfare and sociocultural differences. Most studies are conducted in high-income countries, but Raquel de Deus Mendonça et al. did a study in a middle-to-high income country, Brazil. They found that the availability of a greater diversity of fruits and high-quality vegetables in shops and markets positively influences the diversity as well as the quantity of fruit and vegetables intake.

Further, Evangelia Mylona et al. emphasize the importance of accessibility to fast food restaurants and green space areas in the living environment. This study clearly illustrates that obesity is clustered in neighborhoods with high accessibility to fast food restaurants. In contrast, the lowest obesity rates were found in neighborhood with the