Better Neighborhoods Lower Risk for Obesity, Diabetes - SanTanValley.com

Better Neighborhoods Lower Risk for Obesity, Diabetes

Better Neighborhoods Lower Risk for Obesity, Diabetes

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that moving from a very poor neighborhood to a less-disadvantaged one could improve the health of low-income mothers....

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that moving from a very poor neighborhood to a less-disadvantaged one could improve the health of low-income mothers.

Researchers studied 4,500 women with children residing in public housing in high-poverty areas — where at least 40 percent of the residents earned less than the federal poverty level, which is $17,500 annually for a single mother with two children. They were divided into two groups: one in which residents were given rent-subsidy vouchers to move to neighborhoods where only 10 percent of residents had incomes below the poverty level and one in which residents were not given any vouchers.

Of the women able to relocate to better neighborhoods, 14.4 percent were extremely obese at follow-up and 16.3 percent had diabetes.  In contrast, of those unable to move, 17.7 percent were extremely obese and 20 percent had diabetes.

"This study is one of the strongest pieces of evidence yet that improving the environments where low-income families live can have a meaningful impact on their risk of chronic disease," says Temple University public health and pediatrics professor Robert Whitaker, a researcher on the study.

Source: “Study: Better Neighborhood Lowers Obesity, Diabetes Risk[1]," USA Today (Oct. 20, 2011)

© Copyright 2011 Information Inc.

References

  1. ^ Study: Better Neighborhood Lowers Obesity, Diabetes Risk (yourlife.usatoday.com)

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