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Environ Behav. 2012 Sep 1;44(5):695-712. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Dietary Digital Diaries: Documenting Adolescents' Obesogenic Environment.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.


Obesogenic built environments may contribute to excessive eating and obesity. Twenty-three 12- to 17-year-old low-income African American adolescents created digital diaries by photographing their lunchtime food environment in a summer academic program. Digitally depicted foods were classified as appearing on the platescape (student's or others' plate) or the tablescape (food buffet). Height, weight, BMI percentile, and waist-to-hip ratio were calculated at baseline and week 4. Adolescents digitally depicted high caloric, high fat foods on the platescape and tablescape, particularly adolescents with a higher waist-to-hip ratio. Weight gain during the 4-week program was significantly predicted by the number of calories and the amount of fat content depicted on the student's plates. Digital diaries, then, can document adolescents' perspectives of their food environments that promote their overconsumption of high caloric and high fat foods that contribute to weight gain and put them at risk for obesity.

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