An interesting article last week  found that people living near takeaways were more likely to be overweight.

A Geography of Obesity?

But what is the evidence  about the link between location and weight?

Here are some useful starting points for research:

  • The article was based on the work of the UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. Their website discusses ongoing research. There are also some useful evidence briefs on children and nutirition and the association between diet  and economics.

Are Poor People Fatter?

But what other factors influence weight? In 2013 a UK government minister caused a storm by suggesting that poor people in the UK were more likely to be overweight.

  • The Joseph Rowntree Trust has disputed this claim.
  • NHS Choices has reviewed a recent study which claimed that poor urban children were more likely to eat junk food for lunch.
  • The sources listed above – in particular the diet surveys, can help you examine actual data on this. The Children’s Food Trust website also has some interesting materials on free school meals and health.
  • The Royal College of Physicians also has on its website a useful leaflet of sources on the relationship between food poverty, diet and health.
  • However other factors in addition to socioeconomic status and location may be at play. Consider reports from the National Obesity Observatory which consider the impact of culture and ethnicity on weight.
  • The Association for the Study of Obesity is a Uk based academic network. Explore its website for links to the latest research.

Further research resources

  • Try searching NHS evidence for examples of UK clinical reviews, health guidance and policy.
  • PubMed provides free references to articles in medical journals. In some cases there are links to free full text.

LSE Subscription Resources

  • Cinahl Plus provides access to materials dating back to 1937 which cover all aspects of nursing and health.
  • The ISI Web of Science has articles from 1900 onwards. These include medical and the social science aspects of health. This database also allows you to easily trace highly cited articles.
  • Scopus also has extensive coverage of health. Most articles are from 1997 onwards.
  • If you are looking for articles about health in developing countries. Try CABI Global Health which has references to articles published since the 1970s.
  • For Full text UK government document son health policy use Public Information Online (for items since 1996) and House of Commons Papers for older materials and historic Hansard.
Heather Dawson

About Heather Dawson

Heather Dawson is an Academic Support Librarian based in the Academic Services Group where her main role is in Collection Development.