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Investigating the impact of GIS modelled daily exposures to the retail food environment on routinely linked child health data / Amy Mizen
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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.40669
Obesity continues to be a huge public health concern around the globe, and numbers are projected to continue to increase. There is particular concern around the issue of obesity in children because obese children are far more likely become obese adults than children who are a healthy weight. We have...
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Obesity continues to be a huge public health concern around the globe, and numbers are projected to continue to increase. There is particular concern around the issue of obesity in children because obese children are far more likely become obese adults than children who are a healthy weight. We have so far been ineffective in developing successful public health policies and interventions that report population level reductions in obesity. In order to tackle obesity on a large scale, we need to be creative and develop interventions and policies that drive societal change.The cause of obesity has been found to be not a linear relationship of cause and effect but a complex and multifaceted system. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are being used to more fully understand the role of the environment on obesity. There has been a particular focus on exposure to the ‘retail food environment’ (RFE) and how this may be linked with obesity. Currently, GIS modelled exposures to the RFE along routes to and from school are not adequate to make reliable predictions about exposure. Instead, GPS data are used to obtain accurate exposures. This thesis has developed a GIS method to generate population level exposures to the RFE. In order to advise policies and interventions that will effectively cause societal change, population level research must be undertaken. A novel way that this type of research can be undertaken is through data linkage. This study has calculated exposures to the RFE for school children aged 13-14 years in south Wales and linked these exposures to individual level health data held within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank (SAIL). These results contribute to the evidence base and shed light on new aspects of the built environment that can be altered to encourage healthy lifestyles.
GIS, GPS, Child Health, Linked Data, SAIL, Retail Food Environment
Swansea University Medical School