The foodscape: Classification and field validation of secondary data sources

This paper focuses on the community food environment and the reality of the ‘foodscape’

Amelia A. Lake; Thomas Burgoine; Fiona Greenhalgh; Elaine Stamp; Rachel Tyrrell


Scholarcy highlights

  • Unhealthy diets are linked with numerous chronic diseases including obesity, which has been described as one of the largest societal challenges we face
  • In addition searches of existing classification systems for example those used in research studies, those used by commercial organisations and the classification system used by the local authority
  • Given the lack of suitable tools we set out to develop a new food outlet classification system, which could be used by our team and other researchers in the UK to build a picture of the food environment
  • Food environments are believed to play a significant role in the obesity epidemic and robust research methods are required to establish which factors or aspects of the food environment are relevant to food choice and to adiposity
  • Tackling the obesogenic environment and the food environment requires a multi-disciplinary approach: this research drew on expertise from nutrition, policy and geography
  • Collecting and classifying data on the food environment relies heavily on the quality of the secondary data and researchers should, where possible, conduct some field validation in order to validate their data. These results have shown that multiple data sources must be used in order to achieve an acceptable and robust alternative to field validation
  • The data used must be from a range of sources in order to incorporate all food outlets, independent of revenue

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