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Health Place. 2013 Sep;23:33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 May 14.

Changes in smoking, sports participation and overweight: does neighborhood prevalence matter?

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Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We investigated whether the prevalence of health-related behaviors and overweight in neighborhoods is associated with changes in smoking, sports participation and overweight over 13 years of follow-up in Dutch adults residing in 86 neighborhoods of Eindhoven in 1991. We showed that living in neighborhoods with a high prevalence of non-smoking, no sports participation and overweight increased the odds of quitting smoking, quitting sports and becoming overweight. After adjustments for age, gender, education and neighborhood deprivation this association remained significant for becoming overweight. Neighborhood prevalence of health-related behaviors and overweight appears to be a currently neglected but relevant determinant of changes in health-related behaviors.


Neighborhood prevalence; Overweight; Smoking cessation; Social environment; Sports participation

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