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The current systematic review aimed to identify and critically appraise research on food environments in sports settings, including research into the types of food and beverages available, the extent and impact of food and beverage sponsorship and marketing, and views about food environments among key stakeholders.
A systematic review. Fourteen English-language studies (two were papers describing different facets of the same study), published between 1985 and 2011, were identified from searches of electronic databases and bibliographies of primary studies.
Most studies originated from Australia (n 10), with the remaining studies originating in the UK (n 1), New Zealand (n 1), the USA (n 1) and Canada (n 1). Data were collected from observations in stadia, websites and televised sports events, through in-depth interviews, focus groups and surveys with sports club members, parents and quick serve restaurant managers.
Literature exploring food environments in sports settings was limited and had some important methodological limitations. No studies comprehensively described foods available at clubs or stadia, and only one explored the association between food and beverage sponsorship and club incomes. Club policies focused on the impact of health promotion funding rather than the impact of sponsorship or food availability in sports settings.
Further research, including comprehensive studies of the food environment in sports settings, is required to document the availability, sponsorship and marketing of food and beverages at national, regional and club levels and to estimate how sports settings may influence children's diets.
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