Food environments of young people: Linking individual behaviour to environmental context

Rachel L. Tyrrell, Fiona Greenhalgh, Susan Hodgson, Wendy J. Wills, John C. Mathers, Ashley J. Adamson, Amelia Lake

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Background We aimed to identify and characterize the food environments from which young people obtain food and to explore associations between the type of food environment and food intakes. Methods Young people (n = 86, mean age 17 years; combined data of two sequential pilot studies (collected in 2008-09) and a study conducted in 2011-12) recorded in 4-day self-complete food diaries what food they consumed and where food was sourced. Nutrient, fruit and vegetable intake was calculated according to the source of food, categorized using a food environment classification tool. Results Over 4 days, respondents sourced food from an average of 4.3 different food environments. Home food was used daily and was more favourable in terms of nutrient profile than out-of-home food. Food sourced from specialist outlets, convenience stores and retail bakers had the highest energy density. Food from retail bakers and 'takeaway and fast food' outlets were the richest sources of fat while vending machines and convenience stores had the highest percentage of energy from sugar. Conclusions This work provides details of 'where' young people obtain food and the nutritional consequences of choosing those food environments. While home food was a significant contributor to total dietary intake, food was obtained from a broad range of environments; particularly takeaway, fast food and education establishments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-104
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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