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McCormack GR, Blackstaffe A, Nettel-Aguirre A, Csizmadi I, Sandalack B, Uribe FA, Rayes A, Friedenreich C, Potestio ML. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018; 15(6): e15061226.


Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada.


(Copyright © 2018, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Background: Environmental and policy factors can influence weight status via facilitating or discouraging physical activity and healthy diet. Despite mixed evidence, some findings suggest that the neighborhood built environment, including “walkability”, is associated with overweight and obesity. Most of these findings have measured body mass index (BMI), yet other weight status measures including waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip (W-H) ratio are also predictive of health outcomes, independent of BMI. Our study aim was to estimate the associations between walkability, measured using Walk Score®, and each of WC, W-H ratio, and BMI among urban Canadian adults. Methods: In 2014, n = 851 adults recruited from 12 structurally and socioeconomic diverse neighborhoods (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) provided complete data on a physical activity, health and demographic questionnaire and self-reported anthropometric measures (i.e., height and weight, WC and hip circumference). Anthropometric data were used to estimate WC, W-H ratio, and BMI which were categorized into low and high risk in relation to their potential adverse effect on health. WC and BMI were also combined to provide a proxy measure of both overall and abdominal adiposity. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between each weight status outcome and Walk Score®. Results: A one-unit increase in Walk Score® was associated with lower odds of being high-risk based on WC (OR = 0.99; 95%CI 0.97⁻0.99). Notably, those residing in socioeconomically disadvantage neighborhoods had significantly higher odds of being high risk based on WC, BMI, and WC-BMI combined compared with advantaged neighborhoods. Conclusions: Interventions that promote healthy weight through the design of neighborhoods that support and enhance the effect of physical activity and diet-related interventions could have a significant population health impact.

Language: en


neighborhood; obesity; obesogenic; walkability; weight


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