New research suggests that neighborhood environment impacts child and parent obesity rates

Two new companion studies from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggest that living in a healthy environment can have a positive impact on you and your child’s waistline. The first of these studies describes the development of innovative GIS-based constructs for physical activity and nutrition environments. A follow-up study validates these measures by finding that adults and children who live in neighborhoods favorable to healthy eating and active living are less likely to be obese than those who live in less healthy neighborhood environments.

The physical activity environments and nutrition environments measures were developed to identify neighborhoods supportive and unsupportive of child and parent physical activity and healthy eating.

High physical activity environments:

  • Were more conducive to walking
  • Had at least one high-quality park

High nutrition environments:

  • Had a nearby supermarket
  • Had very few fast-food outlets

Researchers then tested these measures in a follow-up study that found children and adults from neighborhoods high on both environment measures were less likely to be obese than children from neighborhoods low on both measures.

Click on the links below to read the full articles and learn more about the development of these measures.

Objective Assessment of Obesogenic Environments in Youth

Obesogenic Neighorhood Environments

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