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Social inequality and public health$
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Salvatore J. Babones

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423207

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423207.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.25) Three Examination of the built environment and prevalence of obesity: neighbourhood characteristics, food purchasing venues, green space and distribution of Body Mass Index
Source:
Social inequality and public health
Author(s):

Tamara Dubowitz

Theresa L. Osypuk

Kristen Kurland

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847423207.003.0003

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

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