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      Environmental influences on energy balance-related behaviors: A dual-process view

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          Studies on the impact of the 'obesogenic' environment have often used non-theoretical approaches. In this journal's debate and in other papers authors have argued the necessity of formulating conceptual models for differentiating the causal role of environmental influences on behavior.


          The present paper aims to contribute to the debate by presenting a dual-process view on the environment – behavior relationship. This view is conceptualized in the EnRG framework (Environmental Research framework for weight Gain prevention). In the framework, behavior is postulated to be the result of a simultaneous influence of conscious and unconscious processes. Environmental influences are hypothesized to influence behavior both indirectly and directly. The indirect causal mechanism reflects the mediating role of behavior-specific cognitions in the influence of the environment on behavior. A direct influence reflects the automatic, unconscious, influence of the environment on behavior. Specific personal and behavioral factors are postulated to moderate the causal path (i.e., inducing either the automatic or the cognitively mediated environment – behavior relation). In addition, the EnRG framework applies an energy balance-approach, stimulating the integrated study of determinants of diet and physical activity.


          The application of a dual-process view may guide research towards causal mechanisms linking specific environmental features with energy balance-related behaviors in distinct populations. The present paper is hoped to contribute to the evolution of a paradigm that may help to disentangle the role of 'obesogenic' environmental factors.

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              Dissecting obesogenic environments: the development and application of a framework for identifying and prioritizing environmental interventions for obesity.

               G Egger,  F Raza,  B Swinburn (1999)
              The "obesogenicity" of modern environments is fueling the obesity pandemic. We describe a framework, known as ANGELO (analysis grid for environments linked to obesity), which is a conceptual model for understanding the obesogenicity of environments and a practical tool for prioritizing environmental elements for research and intervention. Development of the ANGELO framework. The basic framework is a 2 x 4 grid which dissects the environment into environmental size (micro and macro) by type: physical (what is available), economic (what are the costs), political (what are the "rules"), and sociocultural (what are the attitudes and beliefs). Within this grid, the elements which influence food intake and physical activity are characterized as obesogenic or "leptogenic" (promoting leanness). Application of the ANGELO framework. The ANGELO framework has been piloted at the population level (island communities) to prioritize the settings/sectors for intervention and at the setting level (fast food outlets) to prioritize research needs and interventions. Environmental elements were prioritized by rating their validity (evidence of impact), relevance (to the local context), and potential changeability. The ANGELO framework appears to be a flexible and robust instrument for the needs analysis and problem identification stages of reducing the obesogenicity of modern environments. Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

                Author and article information

                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
                BioMed Central (London )
                15 May 2006
                : 3
                : 9
                [1 ]Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, University of Maastricht, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Department of Nutrition and Health, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [3 ]National Institute of Public health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
                [4 ]Department of Public and Occupational Health and Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [5 ]Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
                Copyright © 2006 Kremers et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Nutrition & Dietetics


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