Multiple pathways from the neighborhood food environment to increased body mass index through dietary behaviors: A structural equation-based analysis in the CARDIA study.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVES: To examine longitudinal pathways from multiple types of neighborhood restaurants and food stores to BMI, through dietary behaviors. METHODS: We used data from participants (n=5114) in the United States-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study and a structural equation model to estimate longitudinal (1985-86 to 2005-06) pathways simultaneously from neighborhood fast food restaurants, sit-down restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores to BMI through dietary behaviors, controlling for socioeconomic status (SES) and physical activity. RESULTS: Higher numbers of neighborhood fast food restaurants and lower numbers of sit-down restaurants were associated with higher consumption of an obesogenic fast food-type diet. The pathways from food stores to BMI through diet were inconsistent in magnitude and statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to decrease the numbers of neighborhood fast food restaurants and to increase the numbers of sit-down restaurant options could influence diet behaviors. Availability of neighborhood fast food and sit-down restaurants may play comparatively stronger roles than food stores in shaping dietary behaviors and BMI.
  • Published In

  • Health and Place  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Body mass index, Diet, Geographic information systems, Longitudinal study, Neighborhood food environment, Structural equation model, Adolescent, Adult, Body Mass Index, Fast Foods, Feeding Behavior, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Residence Characteristics, Restaurants, Social Class, United States, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Richardson AS; Meyer KA; Howard AG; Boone-Heinonen J; Popkin BM; Evenson KR; Shikany JM; Lewis CE; Gordon-Larsen P
  • Start Page

  • 74
  • End Page

  • 87
  • Volume

  • 36