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The correlation between supermarket size and national obesity prevalence

Cameron, Adrian J., Waterlander, Wilma E. and Svastisalee, Chalida M. 2014, The correlation between supermarket size and national obesity prevalence, BMC Obesity, vol. 1, pp. 1-4, doi: 10.1186/s40608-014-0027-z.

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Title The correlation between supermarket size and national obesity prevalence
Author(s) Cameron, Adrian J.
Waterlander, Wilma E.
Svastisalee, Chalida M.
Journal name BMC Obesity
Volume number 1
Article ID 17
Start page 1
End page 4
Total pages 4
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 2052-9538
2052-9538
Keyword(s) Food environment
Store size
Supermarket
Summary BACKGROUND: Supermarkets provide healthy and affordable food options while simultaneously heavily promoting energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and drinks. Store size may impact body weight via multiple mechanisms. Large stores encourage purchasing of more food in a single visit, and in larger packages. In addition they provide greater product choice (usually at lower prices) and allow greater exposure to foods of all types. These characteristics may promote purchasing and consumption. Our objective was to assess the relationship between supermarket size and obesity, which has rarely been assessed.

RESULTS: Data on supermarket size (measured as total aisle length in metres) was from 170 stores in eight developed countries with Western-style diets. Data for national obesity prevalence was obtained from the UK National Obesity Observatory. We found a strong correlation between average store size and national obesity prevalence (r = 0.96).

CONCLUSIONS: Explanations for the association between store size and national obesity prevalence may include larger and less frequent shopping trips and greater choice and exposure to foods in countries with larger stores. Large supermarkets may represent a food system that focuses on quantity ahead of quality and therefore may be an important and novel environmental indicator of a pattern of behaviour that encourages obesity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s40608-014-0027-z
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077953

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.