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Health Place. 2007 Jun;13(2):493-503. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Perceived environmental determinants of physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption among high and low socioeconomic groups in the Netherlands.

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Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


A focus group study was conducted to explore how perceptions of environmental influences on health behaviours pattern across socioeconomic groups in the Netherlands. Participants perceived their spouse's and friend's health behaviour and support as highly important. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds reported poor neighbourhood aesthetics, safety concerns and poor access to facilities as barriers for being physically active, while easy accessibility to sports facilities was mentioned by high socioeconomic participants. The availability of fruits and vegetables at home was perceived as good by all particpants. Overall, lower socioeconomic groups expressed more price concerns. Possible pathways between socioeconomic status, environmental factors and health behaviours are represented in a framework, and they should be investigated further in longitudinal research.

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