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Conservation of the built environment and obesity: Environmental Barriers to Activity

Self-reported heights and weights were used to calculate BMI. Although this review focused on objectively measured aspects of the built environment, behavioral theory would suggest the need to consider both externally observable, objective influences and the interpretation of those attributes by community residents, through measurement of subjective or perceived environmental traits.

Matthew Cox
Thursday, April 8, 2021
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  • Stairs instead of elevators at workplace: cardioprotective effects of a pragmatic intervention.

  • Studies were evaluated with regard to their methods of assessing the environment and obesity, as well as to their effects. To date, investigations of food availability within communities have primarily focused on either the spatial distribution of food stores in relation to socioeconomic characteristics of communities 57—61 or the association between neighborhood food availability and individual-level dietary consumption 62 ,

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  • For young children who are unable to obtain their own food, influences on parental food choices for the home, such as the cost of foods, may be a key environmental factor influencing consumption and, in turn, weight gain. Open in new tab Download slide.

MeSH terms

Issue Section:. Why Americans eat bkilt they do: taste, nutrition, cost, convenience, and weight control concerns as influences on food consumption. Abstract Biological, psychological, behavioral, and social factors are unable to fully explain or curtail the obesity epidemic. As adolescents begin to explore the environment around them independently of parental influences, the impact of the built environment may be a strong determinant in influencing behaviors regarding physical activity and diet.

Playground proximity, fast-food restaurant conserbation distance in miles from child's home to nearest playground or fast-food restaurant conservation of the built environment and obesity, and neighborhood safety measured by the numbers of serious crimes and emergency calls. The differential impact of land-use mix on risk of obesity within non-Hispanic White communities versus Hispanic communities warrants further investigation. Two additional studies that met the inclusion criteria were found by searching the reference sections of the 18 review articles. Three objectively measured variables, including the type of street the resident lived on cul-de-sac, highway, or otherwhether there were sidewalks none or on one or both sides of the roadand a measure of poor spatial access to recreational facilities.

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Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: an international review. Washington, DC: Island Press. Flournoy, R. Where we live affects how we live. About Smart Growth. Complete Streets.

Physical activity social support and middle- and older-aged minority women: results from a US survey. Homeward bound: Food-Related strategies in low income and transit dependent communities. Agricultural districts: A tool for protecting local agriculture. Charter for the New Urbanism. Int J Obes Lond.

Publication types

Inj Prev. Some focus on making streets safer for walking and biking: Reduced cinservation limits, longer pedestrian crossing times, wider sidewalks, the use of traffic-calming devices such as plantings in roadways, auto-free city zones, and protected, dedicated bike lanes are a few approaches. American Journal of Health Promotion18 147—

As adolescents begin to explore the environment around them independently of parental influences, the impact of the built environment may be a strong determinant in influencing behaviors regarding physical activity and diet. Neighborhood was defined as an 8-km radius around the residence. Nutritional and other influences in childhood as predictors of adult obesity. Three of the investigations 444749 specifically examined the impact of the built environment on overweight in adolescents.

Unsafe to play? Journal of the American Planning Association66 2— Agricultural districts: A tool for protecting local agriculture. Ashe, M. Smart growth and schools.

INTRODUCTION

Sidewalk availability, number and distance to physical activity facilities, mixed land use, intersection density, obesit slope average change in elevation were used as measures of the built environment. Thus, the lack of healthful food purchasing choices in a lower-income neighborhood would be seen conceptually as having a greater impact on residents than the same lack of shopping choices in a more affluent area. At this stage, more work is needed to explore environmental influences on diet and physical activity, both within the United States and abroad, in order to facilitate our understanding of and elucidate the population-level determinants of obesity. Multilevel models have been used in investigations of area-level effects on cardiovascular disease 26 and may be useful in future investigations examining the impact of the built environment on risk of overweight.

Active living in the city. Environmental correlates of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures. American Journal of Preventive Medicine27 3— Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity, and morbidity.

Neighborhood environment and physical activity among youth, a review. Association of walkability with obesity in Baltimore City, Maryland. Parental social support and the physical activity-related behaviors of youth: a review. Soc Sci Med.

At the county level, the percentage of the workforce commuting outside the county was examined. While the study by Liu et al. Summary of the evidence for an association between the built environment and risk of obesity, by type of exposure measurement.

Evidence regarding the mechanisms through which the built environment may influence obesity i. Reid Ewing. Issue Section:. For example, the size of a person's activity space and the mechanism by which a characteristic exerts its putative influence are conceptually important.

The accessibility of activities is thought to be the primary determinant of travel choices, affecting both physical activity and dietary behaviors. For children, this might include both school and recreational space. Activity spaces within metropolitan areas and county-level areas may differ. Social and environmental drivers are known to influence an individual's decisions about healthy behaviour. Oxford Academic.

Journal of Urban Affairs21 3— California, State of. Environmental and policy factors associated with overweight among adults in missouri. Research shows that regular exercise makes people leaner, stronger, smarter, and healthier.

Changing direction: Federal trans-portation spending in the s. About ALbD. Holtzman, B. Boarnet, M.

  • Crime rates and sedentary behavior among 4th grade Texas school children. The built environment is a decisive factor in how people get to work.

  • Evidence regarding the mechanisms through which the built environment may influence obesity i.

  • Charter for the New Urbanism.

  • Health and community design: The impact of the built environment on physical activity.

  • BMI was used as a continuous variable in all models. Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted physical activity intervention for adult Somali women.

A pilot study found that opening an after-hours supervised schoolyard increased the outdoor activity levels of inner-city envuronment by 84 percent compared the built a matched control community. Socioeconomic differences in leisure-time physical activity: the role of social participation and social capital in shaping health related behaviour. Physical environmental correlates of childhood obesity: a systematic review. The Relationship between obesity and the prevalence of fast food restaurants: State-level analysis. Journal of Urban Affairs21 3—

Strategies for the prevention and control of obesity in the school setting: systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Impact Assessment. Health Place. N, Patel, A. Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: an international review.

Safe to walk? Prev Med. American Journal of Health Promotion17, — Nicoll G, Zimring C.

  • Charter for the New Urbanism.

  • Cross-sectional community-wide health survey of adults from a primarily Hispanic community in Texas. Although there was no conseevation as to whether or not prices actually influenced the purchase or consumption of fruits and vegetables, within this population of children, the price of foods seemed to have a greater effect on BMI than the availability of foods.

  • Travel behavior trends in the U. London: Spon Press.

  • Worksites and Active Commuting to Work At the same time, worksites are ideal settings to test physical activity programs-controlled environments with easy access to employees through existing channels of communication and support networks.

  • Mair, J. Ann Epidemiol.

Agricultural land preservation in a land use planning perspective. Our social surroundings matter, too: Supportive families or coworkers, for example, may make it easier for people to get up and get moving. Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States. American Journal of Health Promotion19 2—

Given the increasing numbers of older adults in developed countries, as well as the many barriers to healthful aging associated with obesity, a better understanding of the built environment's relation to diet and activity among the elderly is needed. The activity space of most metropolitan residents beyond childhood is certainly larger than the residential neighborhood. Lower scores indicated less sprawl. At the county level, the percentage of the workforce commuting outside the county was examined.

Report of a World Health Organization consultation on obesity. Activity spaces within metropolitan areas and county-level areas may differ. The link between conservation of the built environment and obesity and the built environment. Trained surveyors assessed the immediate residential environment of all study participants along two dimensions measured from 1 low to 5 high : 1 amount of greenery and vegetation and 2 amount of graffiti, litter, and dog waste visible around dwelling and surrounding streets. Research into the association between the built environment and obesity faces several methodological challenges.

  • But the field is still in its early stages, with limited data from long-term studies. Research on exactly how neighborhood characteristics affect physical activity is growing.

  • Studies were evaluated with regard to their methods of assessing the environment and obesity, as well as to their effects. Although this review focused on objectively measured aspects of the built environment, behavioral theory would suggest the need to consider both externally observable, objective influences and the interpretation of those attributes by community residents, through measurement of subjective or perceived environmental traits.

  • Integration of short bouts of physical activity into organizational routine, a systematic review of the literature. Prospects for health impact assessment in the united states: New and improved environmental impact assessment or something different?

  • The relevant articles were evaluated with regard to study design, population studied i.

For example, the size of a person's activity space and the mechanism conservation of the built environment and obesity which a characteristic exerts its putative influence are conceptually important. Environmental influences on food choice, physical activity and energy balance. Neighborhood Characteristics and Depression. The determinants of daily travel-activity patterns: relative location and sociodemographic factors. The dependent variable was measured by the change in BMI over the 3-year period. The other two studies investigating the built environment and obesity among children reported null results 33 The number of physical activity facilities, density and length of roadways, and street connectivity were used to describe each cluster.

  • The university of california transportation center, University of California at Berkeley. CrossRef Google Scholar.

  • These characteristics are considered in more detail below. One of the major differences between the 17 articles 343537—5052 that documented a positive statistically significant association and the three 333651 that did not was the age of the study population.

  • J Occup Environ Med.

  • The activity space of most metropolitan residents beyond childhood is certainly larger than the residential neighborhood. Neighborhood-based differences in physical activity: an environment scale evaluation.

The built environment and obesity: a systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence. Land use planning and the control of alcohol, tobacco, buitl, and fast food restaurants. California, State of. Collins, R. What are the best ways to reach out to parents and in turn, get kids moving? This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. American Journal of Public Health93 9—

Google Scholar. Of these 20 studies, 17 found a statistically significant relation between some aspect of the built environment and risk of obesity. Liu et al. Advance article alerts. Background: Obesity has continued to rise in prevalence globally.

Figure presented by Prof. The differential impact of land-use mix on risk of obesity within non-Hispanic White communities versus Hispanic tue warrants further investigation. Aggregate county-level indictors of the daily travel time to work measured using US Census data and the average number of daily vehicle miles traveled using data from the California Department of Transportation, as well as population density.

Food availability was measured as the number of grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and full-service restaurants per 1, persons in each child's ZIP code. Data on study design, study populations, and measurement of exposures and outcomes for these 20 articles are summarized in table 1. Social environmental influences may include community norms and values related to eating and activity, as well as contextual influences such as social networks and social support for behaviors such as leisure walking. Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted physical activity intervention for adult Somali women. Skip Nav Destination Article Navigation.

Search Menu. Social environment and physical activity: a review of concepts and evidence. Poor persons, for example, are thought to be more affected by their built environments because their activity spaces are smaller and they are more constrained by lack of transportation and opportunities for mobility. Ideally, different scales would be tested against outcomes in the same study, and more than one scale might have explanatory power.

Barton, H. Safe play spaces to promote physical activity in inner-city children: results from a pilot study of an environmental intervention. Health Education Quarterly15 4— Transit and health: mode of transport, employer-sponsored public transit pass programs, and physical activity.

Why Americans eat what they do: taste, nutrition, cost, convenience, and weight control concerns as influences on food consumption. Community-based participatory research: policy recommendations for promoting a partnership approach in health research. The two studies that investigated this issue within child populations 3336 computed the distance from the child's residence to the nearest playground.

Physical environmental correlates of built environment and obesity: a systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine27 3— Environmental conserfation of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures. Epidemiol Rev. Walking to public transit: steps to help meet physical activity recommendations. Research shows that regular exercise makes people leaner, stronger, smarter, and healthier. The relationship between active travel to school and health-related fitness in children and adolescents: a systematic review.

Smart pf schools: A fact sheet. An update and re-appraisal of cycling trends and policies. How can communities begin the task of creating spaces and places that promote activity? Agricultural districts: A tool for protecting local agriculture. This article briefly reviews research on how various settings influence our activity levels, the policies that shape them, and their roles in perpetuating disparities in obesity rates. A systematic review update.

James, W. Neighborhoods Where we live affects how we live. Prev Chronic Dis. Employers can make stairwells more attractive, safer, and easier to use than elevators, and can put signs by elevators encouraging employees to take the stairs.

Epidemiol Rev. Guide to california planning 2nd ed. Socioeconomic determi-nants of health: The contribution of nutrition to inequalities in health. Journal of Urban Affairs21 3— Interventions for preventing obesity in children.

A longitudinal study of the family physical activity environment and physical activity among youth. Bicycling renaissance in North America? J Occup Environ Med. California, State of. Integration of short bouts of physical activity into organizational routine, a systematic review of the literature.

Living in areas with greater mixed land use was associated with higher BMI values. Cosnervation of the five studies carried out in children 36444749 used the age- and sex-specific percentile values for BMI recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 53 to classify overweight for persons under 21 years of age. Three objectively measured variables, including the type of street the resident lived on cul-de-sac, highway, or otherwhether there were sidewalks none or on one or both sides of the roadand a measure of poor spatial access to recreational facilities. Two measures of the built environment included square miles per fast-food restaurant and population per fast-food restaurant. Download all slides.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine22, 23— Center for Civic Partnerships. Risk of injury for bicycling on cycle tracks versus in the street. The Relationship between obesity and the prevalence of fast food restaurants: State-level analysis. PubMed Google Scholar.

Environmental influences on food choice, physical activity and energy balance. Its association with many chronic diseases is posing a large threat to public health. The accessibility of activities is thought to be the primary determinant of travel choices, affecting both physical activity and dietary behaviors. Data on study design, study populations, and measurement of exposures and outcomes for these 20 articles are summarized in table 1.

Some elements of the built environment shown to be associated with obesity are urban sprawl, urban design, land-use mix, transport systems, access to and type of food outlets, and building design. Improving the nutritional resource environment for healthy te through community-based participatory research. Data were also available on physical inactivity and fruit and vegetable intake. The Web of Science search produced 1, abstracts; 22 met the eligibility criteria, with 19 out of 22 overlapping with the Medline search. Two studies in adults 3440 computed the distance from study participants' homes to the nearest recreational facility, with one 34 demonstrating a positive association between distance to the nearest facility and increased risk of overweight. Factors associated with adolescents' physical inactivity in Xi'an City, China.

For example, access to play spaces for young children may incorporate several dimensions beyond convenient locations within walking distance, since it may be unlikely that very young children are allowed to walk to playgrounds without adult supervision. Neighborhood was defined as a 3-km radius around the residence. Frank et al.

Am J Public Health. Residential Streets 2nd ed. Smart growth schools: A fact conservatino. Agricultural districts: A tool for protecting local agriculture. Horowitz, C. Nearly all children and adolescents spend the better part of their days in classes, and most sites already have scheduled recess periods and sports facilities that can be used to make physical activity part of the school day.

Active commuting to school and association with physical activity and adiposity among US youth. Violent crime and obeslty physical activity among inner-city youth. Does the built environment influence physical activity? J Epidemiol Community Health. The effectiveness of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions for controlling employee overweight and obesity: a systematic review. Neighborhood social cohesion and youth participation in physical activity in Chicago.

Recent discussions regarding the obesity epidemic have focused on the role the environment plays in increasing energy consumption and decreasing energy expenditure 23— Ann C. Environmental measures assessed were connectivity number of intersections within a 1-km household radiusnet residential density, and land-use mix. Measure of the built environment No. In this investigation, both the inverse association between increased mixed land use and odds of obesity and the positive association between increased time spent in a car and increased odds of obesity were stronger among non-Hispanic Whites than among African Americans.

Land use planning and the control of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and fast food restaurants. Ewing, R. Smart Growth Network.

Lachapelle and Frank 23 found that Atlanta residents who conservation of the built environment and obesity cohservation transit passes were more likely to meet physical activity time recommendations than those who did not. Association of workplace supports with active commuting. Advertisement Hide. Some studies have found that living in more walkable neighborhoods, or in communities with less sprawl, is linked to higher rates of physical activity 13637 and lower body mass index BMI levels 38 — Environmental correlates of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures. Identifying the poor and their consumption patterns.

Fulton, W. The university of california transportation center, University of California at Berkeley. Schilling, J. Handy, S. Horowitz, C. Fresh ideas for community nutrition and physi-cal activity.

  • Highways and transit: Leveling the playing field in federal transportation policy, brookings institute.

  • Baseline findings from a British survey of aging. For young children who are unable to obtain their own food, influences on parental food choices for the home, such as the cost of foods, may be a key environmental factor influencing consumption and, in turn, weight gain.

  • Changing direction: Federal trans-portation spending in the s.

  • Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Relation of weight gain and weight loss on subsequent diabetes risk in overweight adults.

  • Methods used to investigate the relationships between the built environment and obesity were found to be dissimilar across studies and varied from indirect to direct.

Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. This is inconsistent with two other studies investigating the influence of land-use mix on BMI in non-Hispanic White populations 35 Nevertheless, certain methodological issues are common across areas of inquiry. Download all slides. Cross-sectional community-wide health survey of adults from a primarily Hispanic community in Texas.

Nelson, A. Access denied. Based on successful support of active transport in Europe, a number of policy options have been proposed. Schilling, J.

Active living in the city. Association of perceived neighborhood safety on body mass index. Stairs instead of elevators at workplace: cardioprotective effects of a pragmatic intervention.

Ellaway et al. Lopez-Zetina et al. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Neighborhood racial composition, neighborhood poverty, and the spatial accessibility of supermarkets in metropolitan Detroit. Additional measures of access to physical activity incorporated some aspect of community design using publicly available data sources such as the US Census or land-use mix as measured by county tax assessors. Summary of the evidence for an association between the built environment and risk of obesity, by type of exposure measurement.

ALSO READ: The Obesity Crisis In America Surgeon General

This evidence augments the current individual bjilt management of the built environment by providing guidance to advocates of health and regulators so they are able to design and create environments that foster healthy eating and personal activity. Two studies in adults 3440 computed the distance from study participants' homes to the nearest recreational facility, with one envieonment demonstrating a positive association between distance to the nearest facility and increased risk of overweight. Therefore, the contextual mechanisms that influence obesity rates may not be universal across developed nations Socioeconomic status differences in recreational activity levels and real and perceived access to a supportive physical environment. This evidence, coupled with the limited success of individual-based interventions in long-term obesity prevention, points to an urgent need for additional research on the impact of the built environment on obesity Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Studies that used measures of access to food included either a measure of distance to the nearest fast-food restaurant 36 or grocery store 52 or a measure of the density of food outlets within a defined area 38414546but not both.

Skip to main content. These changes have been accompanied by a doubling in bicycle trips and a 12 percent reduction in serious cycling injuries from to What are the best ways to reach out to parents and in turn, get kids moving? Research shows that regular exercise makes people leaner, stronger, smarter, and healthier. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Related articles in Web of Science Google Scholar. In contrast, Rutt and Coleman 40 found a positive association between increasingly mixed land use and increased risk of obesity. Using a measure of density number of fitness facilities per 1, residents, within ZIP codesMobley et al. Social and environmental drivers are known to influence an individual's decisions about healthy behaviour. Understanding the impact of the built environment on obesity may provide information necessary to develop successful community-based prevention efforts Socioeconomics of urban travel: evidence from the National Household Travel Survey. Two additional studies that met the inclusion criteria were found by searching the reference sections of the 18 review articles.

The other two studies investigating the fnvironment environment and obesity among children reported null results 33 Report of a World Health Organization consultation on obesity. Two additional studies that met the inclusion criteria were found by searching the reference sections of the 18 review articles. Within this area of research, spatial attributes are often measured as surrogates for actual influences. Research comparing externally measured attributes of communities, such as physical appearance, walkability, and safety, with assessments made by residents has demonstrated the value of considering both perspectives 74—

Conservafion et al. Testing the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted physical activity intervention for adult Somali women. Background: Obesity has continued to rise in prevalence globally. Related articles in Web of Science Google Scholar. Studies were evaluated with regard to their methods of assessing the environment and obesity, as well as to their effects.

Travel is thought to be an outgrowth of activities, where in-home and outside activities bujlt both substitutes for and complements of each other. The dependent variable was measured by the change in BMI over the 3-year period. Accessibility is defined in terms of ease of access to desired activities. The more activities available within a given travel time, the better the accessibility of a location. For adults, distance to the grocery store where they usually shopped was associated with obesity; in comparison with persons whose grocery store was within their census tract, persons who shopped more than 1. Both of these studies found no association.

Pennsylvania fresh food financing initiative. The Reinvestment Fund. Cole, B. Complete Streets.

The food system: A stranger to the planning field. Do the poor pay more for food: An analysis of grocery store availability and food price disparities. N, Patel, A. Milbank Q. Clustering of fast-food restaurants around schools: A novel application of spatial statistics to the study of food environments. Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars.

Several studies have found that choice of transportation mode driving, walking, biking depends on the built environment at both the origin home and the destination work or shopping. Within the United States, national guidelines recommend defining childhood overweight status by applying age- and sex-adjusted norms and using percentile cutpoints to classify overweight. Destination accessibility, the distribution of activities around each other, is also an important determinant of household travel patterns Issue Section:.

Download all slides. Living in areas with greater mixed land use was associated with higher BMI values. Therefore, analyses of the built environment's effect on obesity, if measured by necessity at a Census-unit level, may fail to correctly capture the appropriate geographic effects. The other two studies investigating the built environment and obesity among children reported null results 33 ,

Journal of the American Planning Association66 2— Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: an international review. Obes Rev. J Public Health Policy.

Unsafe to play? Sidewalks and protected bike conservation of the built environment and obesity, or the availability of bike storage, may make conwervation easier for people to have active commutes; similarly, access to public transportation may also increase physical activity, since it gives people a chance to walk to and from a train station or bus stop. Prev Med. Journal of the American Planning Association66 2— Soc Sci Med. Planning for street connectivity: Getting from here to there.

Four of the five studies carried out in children 36444749 used biult age- and sex-specific percentile values for BMI recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 53 to classify overweight for persons under 21 years of age. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Google Scholar Crossref. Cross-sectional community-wide health survey of adults from a primarily Hispanic community in Texas.

The U. Where we live affects how we live. Environmental correlates of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures. Guide to california planning 2nd ed. Active living in the city.

Both of these studies found positive associations between the number of recreational facilities and the likelihood of being overweight. Papas, Anthony J. Recommendations were made to use more direct methods of assessing the environment, which would include specific targeting of institutions thought to vary widely in relation to area characteristics and have a more influential effect on obesity-related behaviors. Abstract Biological, psychological, behavioral, and social factors are unable to fully explain or curtail the obesity epidemic. Factors associated with adolescents' physical inactivity in Xi'an City, China.

Studies conservation of the built environment and obesity used measures of access to food included either a measure of distance to the nearest fast-food restaurant 36 or grocery store 52 or a measure of the density of food outlets within a defined area 38414546but not both. None of the studies included both child and adult populations. Simultaneous decoding of cardiovascular and respiratory functional changes from pig intraneural vagus nerve signals. Study author s and year ref.

Association of perceived neighborhood safety on body mass index. Socioeconomic determi-nants of health: The contribution of nutrition to inequalities in health. Block, J. Based on successful support of active transport in Europe, a number of policy options have been proposed. American Journal of Health Promotion19 2—

Nonetheless, local cities and towns can enact land-use policies, such as zoning regulations and building codes, to create community-wide environments that support physical activity. PLoS Med. Point-of-decision prompts to increase stair use. California, State of. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

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