Chapter

Examination of the built environment and prevalence of obesity: neighbourhood characteristics, food purchasing venues, green space and distribution of Body Mass Index

Tamara Dubowitz, Theresa L. Osypuk and Kristen Kurland

in Social inequality and public health

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847423207
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303398 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423207.003.0003
Examination of the built environment and prevalence of obesity: neighbourhood characteristics, food purchasing venues, green space and distribution of Body Mass Index

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This chapter highlights the effect of the overall social environment on health, showing how poverty in a high-inequality society (such as the US) is spatially associated with factors that make healthy living more difficult: a lack of quality food outlets and green spaces. It focuses on the built and social residential environment of individuals, with the implicit understanding that there are myriad factors on biological and social levels that contribute towards obesity and its related consequences. The chapter also stresses how the residential environment of individuals can frame their health-related behaviours related to obesity, specifically diet and physical activity. It uses the example of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to examine the distribution of obesity within the city in relation to the green space environment, the distribution of food purchasing venues and the sociodemographic characteristics of neighbourhoods within the city.

Keywords: BMI; obesity; poverty; food quality; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; green space environment

Chapter.  7009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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