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Urban redesign won't make people thin.

Does urban sprawl cause weight-gain and are residents of suburban neighbourhoods more likely to experience weight related illness? Can compact land use planning make a difference? This widely held belief has been challenged by a 3-nation study, headed by University of Toronto economics professor, Mathew Turner.

Professor Turner and associates at the London School of Economic and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain conclude in Fat City: The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity, that urban redesign will not solve the obesity problem. The public health battle against obesity should be fought on other fronts.

The researchers studied 6,000 individuals over a five year period. As 80% of them changed residence, the researchers were able to check whether people gained weight after they moved to a more sprawling community. They found no significant weight gain reports after the move into lower density neighborhoods.

According to the researchers, people living in sprawling neighbourhoods are heavier because those individuals who are more at risk for obesity, tend to live in such places. It was concluded that urban sprawl does not cause obesity and that urban redesign will not cause people to become thin.
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Title Annotation:OBESITY
Publication:Community Action
Date:Nov 20, 2006
Words:191
Previous Article:Obesity the cost of prosperity, multi-level action required.
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