Mismatch between perceived and objectively measured environmental obesogenic features in European neighbourhoods

C. Roda, H. Charreire, T. Feuillet, J.  D Mackenbach, S. Compernolle, K. Glonti, M. Ben Rebah, H. Bárdos, H. Rutter, M. McKee, I. De Bourdeaudhuij, J. Brug, J. Lakerveld, J. M. Oppert

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Findings from research on the association between the built environment and obesity remain equivocal but may be partly explained by differences in approaches used to characterize the built environment. Findings obtained using subjective measures may differ substantially from those measured objectively. We investigated the agreement between perceived and objectively measured obesogenic environmental features to assess (1) the extent of agreement between individual perceptions and observable characteristics of the environment and (2) the agreement between aggregated perceptions and observable characteristics, and whether this varied by type of characteristic, region or neighbourhood. Cross-sectional data from the SPOTLIGHT project (n = 6037 participants from 60 neighbourhoods in five European urban regions) were used. Residents' perceptions were self-reported, and objectively measured environmental features were obtained by a virtual audit using Google Street View. Percent agreement and Kappa statistics were calculated. The mismatch was quantified at neighbourhood level by a distance metric derived from a factor map. The extent to which the mismatch metric varied by region and neighbourhood was examined using linear regression models. Overall, agreement was moderate (agreement 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Reviews
Early online date16 Feb 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2016


  • Built environment perception SPOTLIGHT virtual audit


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