The Obesogenic Environment

  • Amy A. Gorin
  • Melissa M. Crane
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)

The rates of childhood obesity continue to rise, with poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles as the most proximal causes. Historically, researchers have focused on individual-level variables such as health-related know-ledge, motivation, and self-efficacy to understand eating, exercise, and obesity. This approach is limited in that internal psychological characteristics are often poor predictors of weight-regulating behaviors (Strauss, Rodzilsky, Burack, & Colin, 2001; Timperio et al. 2006) and behavioral weight loss treatment focused on the obese patient alone has struggled to produce long-term weight control (Epstein, Myers, Raynor, & Saelens, 1998). Moreover, this individual-level approach fails to address how the numerous societal trends observed over the past 30 years—such as the proliferation of fast food restaurants and increased access to television—influence the weight of children. Researchers have recently begun to approach obesity from an ecological perspective, revealing several environmental correlations between unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity (French, Story, & Jeffery, 2001; Hill & Peters, 1998; Nestle & Jacobson, 2000), leading many to conclude that for obesity, “genetics loads the gun, [but] the environment pulls the trigger” (Bray, 1996).


Physical Activity Fast Food Television Viewing Urban Sprawl Fast Food Restaurant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy A. Gorin
    • 1
  • Melissa M. Crane
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrs
  2. 2.The Miriam HospitalProvidence

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