Epidemiologic research on the obesity epidemic: A socioenvironmental perspective

Lawrence H. Kushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


From a biologic perspective, the development of obesity results from an imbalance of excess energy intake relative to energy expenditure. However, the context in which obesity occurs is substantially more complex. We need to apply epidemiologic perspectives to the study of the socioenvironmental context in which food availability, food choices, and opportunities for physical activity occur. The extent to which socioenvironmental factors may influence obesity rates is unknown and ripe for study. The application of more complex modeling procedures such as outlined by McKeown-Eyssen18 deserves consideration. A recent request for applications from the National Institutes of Health on "Obesity and the Built Environment" is one example in which such work is being encouraged. Ultimately, effective public health strategies addressing the obesity epidemic will require epidemiologic research that ventures into realms where it has not often tread such as land use planning, transportation policy, and the politics of food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-133
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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