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Open AccessArticle

An Analytical Framework for Integrating the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Environmental Context and Individual Mobility in Exposure Assessment: A Study on the Relationship between Food Environment Exposures and Body Weight

Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, Natural History Building, 1301 W Green Street University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092022
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
In past studies, individual environmental exposures were largely measured in a static manner. In this study, we develop and implement an analytical framework that dynamically represents environmental context (the environmental context cube) and effectively integrates individual daily movement (individual space-time tunnel) for accurately deriving individual environmental exposures (the environmental context exposure index). The framework is applied to examine the relationship between food environment exposures and the overweight status of 46 participants using data collected with global positioning systems (GPS) in Columbus, Ohio, and binary logistic regression models. The results indicate that the proposed framework generates more reliable measurements of individual food environment exposures when compared to other widely used methods. Taking into account the complex spatial and temporal dynamics of individual environmental exposures, the proposed framework also helps to mitigate the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP). It can be used in other environmental health studies concerning environmental influences on a wide range of health behaviors and outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental health; food environment; environmental context cube; environmental context exposure index; the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP); GPS; GIS environmental health; food environment; environmental context cube; environmental context exposure index; the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP); GPS; GIS
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Wang, J.; Kwan, M.-P. An Analytical Framework for Integrating the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Environmental Context and Individual Mobility in Exposure Assessment: A Study on the Relationship between Food Environment Exposures and Body Weight. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2022.

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