SEI Publication

Author(s): Lebel, L., C. Krittasudthacheewa, A. Salamanca, P. Sriyasak

Year: 2012

In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, in press, online 25 September 2012

DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.09.005

Type: Journal article



Link to SEI authors:

Lifestyles and consumption in cities and the links with health and well-being: the case of obesity

This article reviews the evidence for links between urban environments, physical activity and food consumption, and obesity.

The urban environment has a profound influence on how people live, work and play; conversely, that environment is continually being re-shaped by shifts in lifestyles and patterns of consumption. Human well-being and health, in turn, are both outcomes of urban environments and drivers of further urban change.

This paper finds that there is modest, but far from universal, support for an emerging set of propositions that a sustainable and healthy urban environment is one which has: well connected, walkable and cyclable streets; public green spaces; compact and modular organization with mixed land-uses; and a healthy food environment.

Although a lot of research has been carried out on some pathways, the evidence-base for many other relationships is weak and transferability of findings across countries or cultural contexts is unclear. Fortunately, many on-going urban initiatives are under way providing a good base for future studies of the effects on the ground.

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