Patients who receive weight loss advice from a health care provider (HCP) are more likely to eat healthy. The food environment affects eating behaviors. This study explored how the community food environment may moderate the relationship between HCP advice to lose weight and eating behaviors. Data were obtained from a household telephone survey in 4 New Jersey cities from two cross-sectional panels (2009–10 and 2014). Analyses were limited to 1427 overweight and obese participants. Self-reports assessed frequency of consumption of fruits, vegetables, sugar sweetened beverages, and fast food. Community food data were purchased from InfoUSA and Nielsen and classified according to previously established protocol. Stratified gamma regression analysis determined the differences in the association between receiving weight loss advice and eating behaviors stratified by community food environment. Stratified analyses revealed that receiving advice to lose weight from a HCP was associated with lower reported consumption of total sugar-sweetened beverages, soda, and sweetened fruit drinks when participants lived near a small grocery store, or far from a supermarket, limited service restaurant, or convenience store. There were no associations between receiving weight loss advice and sugar sweetened beverage consumption when participants lived near supermarkets, limited service restaurants, or convenience stores. There were no associations with fruit, vegetable, salad or fast-food consumption, regardless of the community food environment. Food environment may play a critical role in moderating the association between HCP advice and eating behaviors. Interventions that enhance the community food environment may help convert HCP advice into improved eating behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health