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Scientists measure connection between the built environment and obesity in baby boomers
Date:8/11/2008

to change their lifestyles to eat better and to get more exercise -- is insufficient. Measures are also needed to improve features of the built environment, which are often modifiable (e.g., via changes in city zoning, development policies), to support people in making such changes." says Li.

ORI scientists studied the built environment characteristics (land-use mix, density of fast-food outlets, street connectivity, & public transit stations, and the presence of green & open spaces) of 120 neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon. Over 1200 residents of the neighborhoods provided the researchers information on their age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, alcohol & tobacco use, general health status, Body Mass Index (BMI), and eating habits. The residents' levels of physical activity were also measured, including neighborhood walking, walking for transportation (to catch a bus), walking for household errands, and moderate or vigorous exercise. All participants were between the ages of 50 and 75.

The results showed significant associations among built-environment factors and the prevalence of overweight/obesity and various forms of physical activity in middle-aged and older adults. These findings suggest the need for public health and city planning officials to consider how modifiable neighborhood-level, built-environment characteristics can create more livable residential communities and promote active, healthy lifestyles.


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Contact: Kathryn Madden
kathryn@ori.org
Oregon Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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