Neighbourhoods are frequently used as a measure for individuals’ exposure to the food environment. However, the definitions of neighbourhoods fluctuate and have not been applied consistently in previous studies. Neighbourhoods defined from a single fixed location fail to capture people’s complete exposure in multiple locations, but measuring behaviour using traditional methods can be challenging. This study compares the traditional methods of measuring exposure to the food environment to methods that use data from GPS tracking. For each of the 187 participants, 11 different neighbourhoods were created in which the exposure to supermarkets and fast food outlets were measured. ANOVA, Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test and t
-tests were performed to compare the neighbourhoods. Significant differences were found between area sizes and the exposure to supermarkets and fast food outlets for different neighbourhood types. Second, significant differences in exposure to food outlets were found between the urban and rural neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are clearly a diffused and blurred concept that varies in meaning depending on each person’s perception and the conducted study. Complexity and heterogeneity of human mobility no longer appear to correspond to the use of residential neighbourhoods but rather emphasise the need for methods, concepts and measures of individual activity and exposure.
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