The Urban Built Environment and Obesity in New York City: A Multilevel Analysis

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
American journal of health promotion: AJHP (Impact Factor: 2.37). 03/2007; 21(4 Suppl):326-34. DOI: 10.4278/0890-1171-21.4s.326
Source: PubMed


To examine whether urban form is associated with body size within a densely-settled city.
Cross-sectional analysis using multilevel modeling to relate body mass index (BMI) to built environment resources.
Census tracts (n = 1989) within the five boroughs of New York City.
Adult volunteers (n = 13,102) from the five boroughs of New York City recruited between January 2000 and December 2002.
The dependent variable was objectively-measured BMI. Independent variables included land use mix; bus and subway stop density; population density; and intersection density. Covariates included age, gender, race, education, and census tract-level poverty and race/ethnicity.
Cross-sectional multilevel analyses.
Mixed land use (Beta = -.55, p < .01), density of bus stops (Beta = -.01, p < .01) and subway stops (Beta = -.06, p < .01), and population density (Beta = -.25, p < .001), but not intersection density (Beta = -. 002) were significantly inversely associated with BMI after adjustmentfor individual- and neighborhood-level sociodemographic characteristics. Comparing the 90th to the 10th percentile of each built environment variable, the predicted adjusted difference in BMI with increased mixed land use was -. 41 units, with bus stop density was -.33 units, with subway stop density was -.34 units, and with population density was -.86 units.
BMI is associated with built environment characteristics in New York City.

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