Diabetes and obesity prevention: Changing the food environment in low-income settings

Joel Gittelsohn, Angela Trude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Innovative approaches are needed to impact obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases, including interventions at the environmental and policy levels. Such interventions are promising due to their wide reach. This article reports on 10 multilevel community trials that the present authors either led (n=8) or played a substantial role in developing (n=2) in low-income minority settings in the United States and other countries that test interventions to improve the food environment, support policy, and reduce the risk for developing obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases. All studies examined change from pre- to postintervention and included a comparison group. The results show the trials had consistent positive effects on consumer psychosocial factors, food purchasing, food preparation, and diet, and, in some instances, obesity. Recently, a multilevel, multicomponent intervention was implemented in the city of Baltimore that promises to impact obesity in children, and, potentially, diabetes and related chronic diseases among adults. Based on the results of these trials, this article offers a series of recommendations to contribute to the prevention of chronic disease in Mexico. Further work is needed to disseminate, expand, and sustain these initiatives at the city, state, and federal levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Reviews
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Chronic disease
  • Diabetes
  • Food policy
  • Interventions
  • Low-income
  • Obesity
  • Urban environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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