Measures of the Food Environment

A Compilation of the Literature, 1990-2007

This article reviews the body of research on the food environment. This area of study is relatively new and there has not been a systematic effort to examine its findings.

Researchers compiled 137 articles published between 1990 and 2007 that studied the food environment.

Key Findings:

  • Research focused on measuring the quality, affordability, and availability of the food environment, usually in a geographical analysis.
  • Only 13 percent of all articles tested for psychometric measures of reliability and validity.

Increased use of validity and reliability measures may make research in this field more robust and increase the impact of the field on obesity-related policy.

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