An emerging body of evidence has documented the impact of the food environment and select behaviors on body weight in both children and adults.
Moderately strong evidence now indicates that the food environment is associated with dietary intake, especially less consumption of vegetables and fruits and higher body weight. The presence of supermarkets in local neighborhoods and other sources of vegetables and fruits are associated with lower body mass index (BMI), especially for low-income Americans, while lack of supermarkets and long distances to supermarkets are associated with higher BMI. Finally, limited but consistent evidence suggests that increased geographic density of fast food restaurants and convenience stores is also related to increased BMI.
Strong and consistent evidence indicates that children and adults who eat fast food are at increased risk of weight gain, overweight and obesity. The strongest documented relationship between fast food and obesity is when one or more fast food meals are consumed per week. There is not enough evidence at this time to similarly evaluate eating out at other types of restaurants and risk of weight gain, overweight and obesity.
Strong and consistent evidence in both children and adults shows that screen time is directly associated with increased overweight and obesity. The strongest association is with television screen time.
Moderate evidence suggests that children who do not eat breakfast are at increased risk of overweight and obesity. The evidence is stronger for adolescents. There is inconsistent evidence that adults who skip breakfast are at increased risk for overweight and obesity.