Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests

Date:
June 17, 2014
Source:
American Diabetes Association
Summary:
People who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods, according to a pair of studies. Specifically, the studies found that people living in neighborhoods with greater walkability saw on average a 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years than those that were less walkable.

People who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods.
Credit: ฉ olesiabilkei / Fotolia

People who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods, according to a pair of studies presented at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessionsฎ.

Researchers in Canada compared adults living in the most and least "walkable" metropolitan areas in southern Ontario and found a lower risk of developing diabetes over a 10-year period for those who lived in neighborhoods with less sprawl, more interconnectivity among streets, and more local stores and services within walking distance, among other measures used to determine a neighborhood's "walkability." The researchers controlled for variables, such as health at baseline, in order to rule out the probability that healthier people were choosing more walkable neighborhoods to begin with. A second study that compared neighborhoods, not individuals, found that the most walkable neighborhoods had the lowest incidence of obesity, overweight and diabetes.

"How we build our cities matters in terms of our overall health," said lead researcher Gillian Booth, MD, Endocrinologist and Research Scientist at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto. "This is one piece of a puzzle that we can potentially do something about. As a society, we have engineered physical activity out of our lives. Every opportunity to walk, to get outside, to go to the corner store or walk our children to school can have a big impact on our risk for diabetes and becoming overweight."

Marisa Creatore, Epidemiologist with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, added that the studies revealed the degree to which "your environment can influence your decisions about physical activity. When you live in a neighborhood designed to encourage people to be more active, you are in fact more likely to be more active."

Specifically, the studies found that people living in neighborhoods with greater walkability saw on average a 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years than those that were less walkable. However, walkability was only protective in those who were younger and middle aged; those who were age 65 or older saw no benefit from living in a walkable neighborhood.

Diabetes was lowest in the most walkable neighborhoods, where incidence fell 7 percent over 10 years, whereas neighborhoods rated least walkable saw a 6 percent rise in diabetes over the same time period. Overweight and obesity, as well, was lowest in the most walkable neighborhoods and fell by 9 percent over 10 years, whereas it rose 13 percent in neighborhoods with the least walkability during that time.

The researchers also noted that people who lived in the most walkable neighborhoods were three times more likely to walk or bicycle and half as likely to drive as a means of transportation.

Solving the obesity pandemic, concluded Booth, "will require both policy changes as well as individual strategies. We have to take a more population-based approach to the problem, given the environment we live in."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Diabetes Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Diabetes Association. "Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617130824.htm>.
American Diabetes Association. (2014, June 17). Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617130824.htm
American Diabetes Association. "Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617130824.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) — The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
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