• Article

Linking biology to the environment Novel methods for understanding pediatric obesity

JPP Student Journal Club Commentary:

Pediatric obesity is a complex, seemingly intransient public health concern that has spurred research to identify causes and potential solutions. Both obesity-related behaviors and outcomes are affected by dynamic processes of many factors across multiple levels of the social ecological model. The environmental–behavioral relationship is reciprocal, dynamic, and dominated by temporally dependent feedback. Pediatric psychology and public health have generated substantial literature on predictors of obesity, with pediatric psychology focusing on individual social determinates and public health focusing on environmental determinants. Only limited research has integrated environment and individual predictors, despite calls for integration (Black & Hager, 2013; McGuire, 2012). The study by Gartstein and colleagues (Gartstein, Seamon, Thompson, & Lengua, 2018), published in this issue, successfully integrated individual biological data and environmental context. Comprehending and mitigating the complexity of obesity will likely require a combination of environmental and individual data.


Armstrong, B., & Black, M. M. (2018). Linking biology to the environment: Novel methods for understanding pediatric obesity. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43(4), 366-368. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsy001

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