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Title: State-of-the-art of measures of the obesogenic environment for children
Authors: Mei, K
Huang, H
Xia, F
Hong, A
Chen, X
Zhang, C
Qiu, G
Chen, G
Wang, ZF
Wang, CJ
Yang, B
Xiao, Q
Jia, P 
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Obesity reviews, 2020, p. 1-18
Abstract: Various measures of the obesogenic environment have been proposed and used in childhood obesity research. The variety of measures poses methodological challenges to designing new research because methodological characteristics integral to developing the measures vary across studies. A systematic review has been conducted to examine the associations between different levels of obesogenic environmental measures (objective or perceived) and childhood obesity. The review includes all articles published in the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus by 31 December 2018. A total of 339 associations in 101 studies have been identified from 18 countries, of which 78 are cross-sectional. Overall, null associations are predominant. Among studies with non-null associations, negative relationships between healthy food outlets in residential neighbourhoods and childhood obesity is found in seven studies; positive associations between unhealthy food outlets and childhood obesity are found in eight studies, whereas negative associations are found in three studies. Measures of recreational or physical activity facilities around the participants' home are also negatively correlated to childhood obesity in nine out of 15 studies. Results differ by the types of measurement, environmental indicators and geographic units used to characterize obesogenic environments in residential and school neighbourhoods. To improve the study quality and compare reported findings, a reporting standard for spatial epidemiological research should be adopted.
Keywords: Built environment
Food environment
Obesogenic environment
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal: Obesity reviews 
ISSN: 1467-7881
EISSN: 1467-789X
DOI: 10.1111/obr.13093
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
The following publication Mei, K., Huang, H., Xia, F., Hong, A., Chen, X., Zhang, C., . . . Jia, P. (2020). State-of-the-art of measures of the obesogenic environment for children. Obesity Reviews, 1-18 is available at
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