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Health Place. 2010 Nov;16(6):1094-103. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.06.016. Epub 2010 Jul 11.

Using experienced activity spaces to measure foodscape exposure.

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Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, CRCHUM, Montreal Public Health Department, Montreal, Canada.


Researchers are increasingly interested in understanding how food environments influence eating behavior and weight-related health outcomes. Little is known about the dose-response relationship between foodscapes and behavior or weight, with measures of food exposure having mainly focused on fixed anchor points including residential neighborhoods, schools, or workplaces. Recent calls have been made to extend the consideration of environmental influences beyond local neighborhoods and also to shift away from place-based, to people-based, measures of exposure. This report presents analyses of novel activity-space measures of exposure to foodscapes, combining travel survey data with food store locations in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. The resulting individual activity-space experienced foodscape exposure measures differ from traditional residential-based measures, and show variations by age and income levels. Furthermore, these activity-space exposure measures once modeled, can be used as predictors of health outcomes. Hence, travel surveys can be used to estimate environmental exposure for health survey participants.

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