Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Built Environment Connected With Obesity In Baby Boomers

Date:
August 14, 2008
Source:
Oregon Research Institute
Summary:
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.

Does your neighborhood have a lot of fast food outlets, few sidewalks, and no parks? If yes, your physical neighborhood may be hampering your ability to be physically active and placing you at increased risk for obesity. According to a research study conducted in Portland, Oregon by scientists at Oregon Research Institute (ORI), neighborhoods with lower mixed-land use and higher densities of fast-food outlets were more likely to have residents who were overweight/obese.

In contrast, residents living in neighborhoods with higher mixed-land use, high street connectivity, better access to public transportation, and more green and open spaces were more likely to engage in some form of neighborhood-based walking.

The study was unique in that it focused on the pre-Baby Boom/early-Baby Boom generations (ages 50-75) which will become the major demographic related to healthcare utilization in the next 20 years. By 2030, 36% of the total U. S. population (compared to 24.9% currently), will be over 50, and the numbers of those over 60 will more than double from current levels (ranging from an 82% increase in people aged 60-64 to a 126% increase in those aged 85+). Results from the study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, are reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"Findings from this study suggest the significant role that built environment plays in either positively or negatively impacting our health and/or lifestyle," notes study lead Fuzhong Li, Ph.D. "34% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over are obese. Part of the rise in this disease may be attributed to our surroundings -- for example, increased accessibility to unhealthy foods. The built environment is also creating barriers for our ability to exercise: many neighborhood areas lack parks and other recreational facilities and suburbs are often designed to discourage neighborhood walking. Simply focusing on encouraging people 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Research Institute. "Built Environment Connected With Obesity In Baby Boomers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200345.htm>.
Oregon Research Institute. (2008, August 14). Built Environment Connected With Obesity In Baby Boomers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200345.htm
Oregon Research Institute. "Built Environment Connected With Obesity In Baby Boomers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200345.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins