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Editorial: social epidemiology discovers environmental affordances
  1. James R Dunn1,2,3
  1. 1Dept. of Health, Aging & Society, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4 Canada
  2. 2Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Keenan Research Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3Canada Program, Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs and Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University
  1. Correspondence to Prof. James R Dunn, Dept. of Health, Aging & Society, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4 Canada; jim.dunn{at}

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In this issue the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health addresses what I call the issue of environmental affordances, although none of the papers uses this term. This month's assemblage of papers includes several papers on the influence of neighbourhood and built environment characteristics, several studies on interventions intended to improve health and three papers on media coverage of health issues. To my mind, these topics all have to do with either describing environmental affordances or with understanding the impacts of interventions to manipulate environmental affordances on health outcomes.

Let me explain what I mean. Arguably, a good deal of social epidemiology and the social sciences and health has become concerned with the ways in which behaviour and other aspects of human activity are enabled …

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