Rundle, A., Diez Roux, A.V., Freeman, L.M., Miller, D., Neckerman, K.M., & Weiss, C.C. (2007). The Urban Built Environment and Obesity in New York City: A Multilevel Analysis. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(4S), 326-334.
Purpose: To examine whether urban form is associated with body size within a denselysettled city.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis using multilevel modeling to relate body mass index (BMI) to built environment resources.
Setting: Census tracts (n 5 1989) within the five boroughs of New York City.
Subjects: Adult volunteers (n 5 13,102) from the five boroughs of New York City recruited between January 2000 and December 2002.
Measures: The dependent variable was objectively-measured BMI. Independent variables included land use mix; bus and subway stop density; population density; and intersection density. Covariates included age, gender, race, education, and census tract–level poverty and race/ethnicity.
Analysis: Cross-sectional multilevel analyses.
Results: Mixed land use (Beta = 2.55, p <.01), density of bus stops (Beta = 2.01, p <.01) and subway stops (Beta = 2.06, p < .01), and population density (Beta = 2.25, p <.001), but not intersection density (Beta = 2.002) were significantly inversely associated with BMI after adjustment for individual- and neighborhood-level sociodemographic characteristics. Comparing the 90th to the 10th percentile of each built environment variable, the predicted adjusted difference in BMI with increased mixed land use was 2.41 units, with bus stop density was 2.33 units, with subway stop density was 2.34 units, and with population density was 2.86 units.
Conclusion: BMI is associated with built environment characteristics in New York City.