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Review

Measuring Rural Food Environments for Local Action in Australia: A Systematic Critical Synthesis Review

1
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds 3216, Victoria, Australia
2
Global Centre for Obesity Prevention, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Victoria, Australia
3
Northern Mallee Community Partnership, Mildura 3500, Victoria, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132416
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 7 July 2019
Poor diet is a significant contributor to obesity and chronic disease. With all being more prevalent in rural than urban Australia, modifying the food environment is a potential intervention point to improve the health of rural populations. This review examined the applicability of measurement tools used in rural food environment research for rural Australia. Six electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed literature, published in English between 2006 and 2018, including at least one objective measure of the Community or Consumer Food Environment in a rural or mixed rural/urban context. One-hundred and seventy-seven papers were returned after removal of duplicates, with a final review of 25. Most studies were cross-sectional, with one intervention study of quasi-experimental design. Nine studies employed a conceptual model; there was considerable variability in tools used; and few described psychometric testing. The most common attribute measured was price, followed by available healthy options. The findings of this review do not offer a suite of ‘gold standard’ measurement tools known to be reliable, valid and sensitive to change to assess the community or consumer food environments in rural Australian towns. However, recommendations are proposed to progress this important area of research within a rural context. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural; regional; food environments; measurement tools rural; regional; food environments; measurement tools
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MDPI and ACS Style

Love, P.; Whelan, J.; Bell, C.; McCracken, J. Measuring Rural Food Environments for Local Action in Australia: A Systematic Critical Synthesis Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132416

AMA Style

Love P, Whelan J, Bell C, McCracken J. Measuring Rural Food Environments for Local Action in Australia: A Systematic Critical Synthesis Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(13):2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132416

Chicago/Turabian Style

Love, Penelope, Jillian Whelan, Colin Bell, and Jane McCracken. 2019. "Measuring Rural Food Environments for Local Action in Australia: A Systematic Critical Synthesis Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 13: 2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132416

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