We reviewed the literature that examines the association between the built environment and diet. The MEDLINE electronic database was searched. Eligible articles must have been published between 2000 and 2013, in the English language, and must have been conducted among a population-based sample of adults older than 18 years of age. Twenty-four articles met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies (over 70%) focused on fruit and vegetable consumption. Most studies (88%) found a statistically significant relationship between diet and some aspect of the built environment. However, the results across studies were not consistent. These inconsistencies may be attributable to methodological challenges, including differing definitions of neighbourhood, and inconsistent approaches to measuring built environment features and diet. In order to explore the complex relationship between built environment and people's dietary behaviour, research design needs to be improved, and the items people actually buy need to be examined. In addition, more research is needed to investigate the causal pathways linking environmental factors and dietary intake.
- Built environment