The term “environmental justice” refers to efforts to address the disproportionate exposure to and burden of harmful environmental conditions experienced by low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations.
Based on computer and manual searches, this paper presents a review of articles in the published literature that discuss disparities in physical activity, dietary habits, and obesity among different populations.
This paper provides evidence that economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations have substantial environmental challenges to overcome to become physically active, to acquire healthy dietary habits, and to maintain a healthy weight. For example, residents living in poorer areas have more environmental barriers to overcome to be physically active.
We propose a research agenda to specifically address environmental justice with regard to improving physical activity, dietary habits, and weight patterns.