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Public Policy and Health

Staff

Publication details for Dr Amelia Lake

Burgoine, Thomas, Alvanides, Seraphim & Lake, Amelia A. (2011). Assessing the obesogenic environment of North East England. Health and Place 17(3): 738-747.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This study examines the influence of the environment (defined as ‘walkability’, food availability and deprivation), alongside individual factors, on Body Mass Index (BMI) and fruit and vegetable consumption. The aim of this unique study was to objectively scrutinise the concept of the obesogenic environment in the North East of England.

A set of theoretical obesogenic indices based on the availability of food to consume within and outside of the home, residential density, street connectivity and land use mix were created for North East England. A pooled sample of 893 individuals (aged 16+) over 3 years (2003, 2004, 2005) from the Health Survey for England (HSE) was isolated for further analysis and correlation with the obesogenic indices.

Results suggest that few elements of both walkability and food availability are significantly associated with BMI and fruit and vegetable intake. Some methodological concerns are highlighted, such as the appropriateness of walkability calculations for rural areas. The study concludes by strongly recommending a multi-faceted approach be taken when trying to tackle current levels of obesity.