Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Living in densely populated neighborhoods can actually decrease risk of diabetes, obesity

Date:
January 15, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
Torontonians living in neighborhoods that aren't conducive to walking have a 33 percent greater risk of developing diabetes or being obese, according to new research.

Toronto neighborhoods as far west as Roncesvalles, as eastward as The Beaches and as north as Yonge-Eglinton had higher density and more walkable destinations than communities outside of the city's core.
Credit: Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital

Torontonians living in neighborhoods that aren't conducive to walking have a 33 per cent greater risk of developing diabetes or being obese, according to new research.

The design of Toronto's neighborhoods such as Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills, Edenbridge- Humber Valley, and Morningside encourage dependency on cars and discourage walking -- risk factors that can lead to obesity and diabetes.

"Although diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss, we determined the environment in which one lives is also an important indicator of one's risk," said Dr. Gillian Booth, an endocrinologist and researcher with St. Michael's Hospital and co-author of the study, published in the online journal PLOS One today.

Dr. Booth and others at the hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health examined the impact residential density and the proximity of walkable destinations have on Torontonians' health. They found that while each could be used separately to predict the health of a neighbourhood, the combination of these two factors provided "additional explanatory power."

Unsurprisingly, from Roncesvalles to The Beaches and as north as Yonge-Eglinton, Toronto's downtown core has higher density and more walkable destinations than communities outside of it.

The study shows that people who live in more walkable and densely populated neighborhoods are two times more likely to walk, bicycle or take public transit. Individuals who live in sparsely populated areas that are also far from destinations such as grocery stores, restaurants and shops are also significantly more likely to drive or own a vehicle.

"We focused on density and destinations because they're potentially modifiable," said co-author Dr. Rick Glazier, research director in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of St. Michael's Hospital. "Policy makers, planners and public health officials can use either of these measures to inform urban design and improve community health."

This study builds on Drs. Booth and Glazier's earlier research on how neighborhoods are determinants of health. In 2007, they showed that diabetes rates were highest in areas that have lower income levels, higher unemployment rates and a higher proportion of visible minorities.

Diabetes, is a leading cause of vision loss, kidney failure, limb amputations and cardiovascular disease. Providing health care to those affected presents a significant challenge to our health care system. It's estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year by 2020.

Data was culled from the Canada census, an urban transportation survey and a national health survey. Drs. Booth and Glazier are both scientists affiliated with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences -- one of the data sources the authors used for their study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. The original article was written by Geoff Koehler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard H. Glazier, Maria I. Creatore, Jonathan T. Weyman, Ghazal Fazli, Flora I. Matheson, Peter Gozdyra, Rahim Moineddin, Vered Kaufman Shriqui, Gillian L. Booth. Density, Destinations or Both? A Comparison of Measures of Walkability in Relation to Transportation Behaviors, Obesity and Diabetes in Toronto, Canada. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e85295 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085295

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Living in densely populated neighborhoods can actually decrease risk of diabetes, obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172824.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, January 15). Living in densely populated neighborhoods can actually decrease risk of diabetes, obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172824.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Living in densely populated neighborhoods can actually decrease risk of diabetes, obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115172824.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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