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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Aug;22(8):1910-7. doi: 10.1002/oby.20772. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Green and blue areas as predictors of overweight and obesity in an 8-year follow-up study.

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  • 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To longitudinally examine associations between proximity of urban green or blue areas and BMI.

METHODS:

The study population consisted of the Finnish Public Sector study participants who responded to surveys in 2000 and 2008 and lived in an urban area; 15,621 of them did not move residence (nonmovers) during the follow-up, and 9696 did (movers). The associations for objectively measured distance and change in distance to blue area and usable green area with self-reported BMI were assessed (normal weight/overweight/obese).

RESULTS:

Among the nonmovers, living >750 versus <250 m from usable green area increased the odds of overweight (odds ratio [OR] 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-2.11), and living 500-750 versus <250 m from the nearest blue area increased the odds of overweight (OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.01-1.52). No significant associations were observed for obesity. Moving away from the proximity of green, but not blue, area (from <250 to >250m) increased the odds of obesity (OR 1.49; 95% CI 1.08-2.06).

CONCLUSIONS:

These longitudinal population level findings suggest that living far from usable green areas or waterfront in urban areas increases the risk of overweight.

Copyright © 2014 The Obesity Society.

KEYWORDS:

blue area; body mass index; green area; longitudinal; neighborhood disadvantage; obesity

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