Local food environments, suburban development, and BMI: A mixed methods study

Murphy, M, Badland, H, Jordan, H, Koohsari, M and Giles-Corti, B 2018, 'Local food environments, suburban development, and BMI: A mixed methods study', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 1-19.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Local food environments, suburban development, and BMI: A mixed methods study
Author(s) Murphy, M
Badland, H
Jordan, H
Koohsari, M
Giles-Corti, B
Year 2018
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume number 15
Issue number 7
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher M D P I AG
Abstract More than half the worlds population now live in urban settlements. Worldwide, cities are expanding at their fringe to accommodate population growth. Low-density residential development, urban sprawl, and car dependency are common, contributing to physical inactivity and obesity. However, urban design and planning can modify urban form and enhance health by improving access to healthy food, public transport, and services. This study used a sequential mixed methods approach to investigate associations between food outlet access and body mass index (BMI) across urban-growth and established areas of Melbourne, Australia, and identify factors that influence local food environments. Population survey data for 3141 adults were analyzed to examine associations, and 27 interviews with government, non-government, and private sector stakeholders were conducted to contextualize results. Fast food density was positively associated with BMI in established areas and negatively associated in urban-growth areas. Interrelated challenges of car dependency, poor public transport, and low-density development hampered healthy food access. This study showed how patterns of suburban development influence local food environments and health outcomes in an urbanized city context and provides insights for other rapidly growing cities. More nuanced understandings of the differential effect of food environments within cities have potential to guide intra-city planning for improving health and reducing inequities.
Subject Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Cities
Food environment
Mixed methods
Urban health
Urban planning policy
DOI - identifier 10.3390/ijerph15071392
Copyright notice © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
ISSN 1661-7827
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