Ewing 2003 - "Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"
Ewing, Reid; Schmid, Tom, et al
"Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"
American Journal of Health Promotion
September/October 2003; vol.18, n.1; pp.47-57
On the Web
The authors estimated the impact of a county and metropolitan area sprawl index on obesity, physical activity, and related diseases. They found that the county index significantly influenced the number of minutes spent in leisure-time walking, average BMI, obesity status, and prevalence of hypertension.
Residents of neighborhoods that were one standard deviation (SD) more compact than the mean walked 14 minutes more each month than residents of neighborhoods that were one SD more sprawling than the mean. Residents of New York County (most compact, score 352) walked 79 more minutes each month than residents of Geauga County (most sprawling, score 63).
Residents of a 1 SD more compact neighborhood have BMIs 0.17 kg/m^2 lower than residents of a 1 SD more sprawling neighborhood. And residents of New York County would have BMIs 1 kg/m^1 less than those of Geauga County, translating to 6.3 fewer pounds on average.
The odds of being obese in a 1 SD more compact neighborhood were 0.9 times the odds in a 1 SD more sprawling neighborhood.
Results were weaker at the metropolitan level, perhaps because the MSAs covered several counties. Only the number of minutes walked as a leisure time activity varied significantly.