Navigation Links
Differences in neighborhood food environment may contribute to disparities in obesity

March 19, 2009 Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the association of neighborhood food environments and "walkability" with body mass index (BMI) and obesity in New York City and found that a higher density of BMI-healthy food outlets is associated with a lower BMI and lower prevalence of obesity. BMI-unhealthy food stores and restaurants -- although far more abundant than healthy ones -- were not significantly associated with higher BMI or prevalence of obesity. The findings are published in the March 2009 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Almost all of the more than 13,000 adult residents of New York City surveyed lived within a half-mile of an unhealthy food outlet, with an average density of 31 outlets per square kilometer, while 82% lived within a half-mile of a healthy food outlet, with an average density of four outlets per square kilometer. BMI-healthy food outlets are defined as supermarkets and fruit and vegetable markets, and BMI-unhealthy food outlets are fast food restaurants and convenience stores. The results indicate that a higher density of BMI-healthy food outlets was associated with a lower mean BMI, a lower prevalence of overweight adults, and a lower prevalence of obesity. BMI-unhealthy food stores and restaurants were far more abundant than healthy ones, but the density of these unhealthy food outlets was not significantly associated with BMI or with body size categories. The study indicates that retail outlets providing opportunities for healthier food purchases are associated with lower BMI.

"Given the recent proliferation of initiatives to promote access to supermarkets, farmers markets, and fruit and vegetable stands and to limit fast-food outlets, the study of the causal relationship between the food environment and diet or body size should be a priority for future research," says Andrew Rundle, DrPh, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and first author of the study. "I see a role for follow-up studies to examine changes in diet and obesity rates in neighborhoods where new supermarkets or produce stores open."

"Among studies examining the relationship between food environment and body size, this work is among the first to measure the food environment comprehensively," said EHP editor-in-chief Hugh A. Tilson, PhD.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data show that 32% of Americans over the age of 20 are obese. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene statistics, New York City faces a high rate of obesity, and the availability of residential neighborhood resources supporting physical activity and healthy food choices may influence overall obesity rates.


Contact: stephanie berger
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

Related biology news :

1. Genetic differences between yeasts greater than those between humans and chimpanzees
2. Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
3. Study sheds light on genetic differences that cause a childhood eye disease
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Defining DNA differences to track and tackle typhoid
6. Negligent, attentive mouse mothers show biological differences
7. Sex differences in the brains serotonin system
8. Tiny genetic differences have huge consequences: McGill researchers
9. Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
10. Analysis of breast and colon cancer genes finds many areas of differences between tumors
11. Genetic differences in clover make one type toxic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , ... announced the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence ... and expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, ... identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 The ... 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) ... guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North ... adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of ... between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, ... government. "In certain ... institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical ... mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma ... in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Mass. , June 23, 2016   ... development of novel compounds designed to target cancer ... napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from ... the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction ... stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
Breaking Biology Technology: