Location of Repository

Effects of Urban Sprawl on Obesity

By Zhenxiang Zhao and Robert Kaestner

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of changes in population density—urban sprawl—between 1970 and 2000 on BMI and obesity of residents in metropolitan areas in the US. We address the possible endogeneity of population density by using a two-step instrumental variables approach. We exploit the plausibly exogenous variation in population density caused by the expansion of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, which largely followed the original 1947 plan for the Interstate Highway System. We find a negative association between population density and obesity and estimates are robust across a wide range of specifications. Estimates indicate that if the average metropolitan area had not experienced the decline in the proportion of population living in dense areas over the last 30 years, the rate of obesity would have been reduced by approximately 13%.

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (2003). Access to fast food and food prices: Relationship with fruit and vegetable consumption and overweight among adolescents”,
  2. (1994). An environmental intervention to increase fruit and salad purchases in a cafeteria”, Preventive Medicine 23;788-792:
  3. (2005). Board: Does the built environment influence physical activity? examining the evidence. Transportation research board special report 282,
  4. (1999). Caloric imbalance and public health policy”,
  5. (2007). Can urban planning reduce obesity? The role of self-selection in explaining the link between weight and urban sprawl”,
  6. (2002). Causes and consequences of adult obesity: health, social and economic impacts in the United States”, Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 11;S705-9:
  7. (2005). Causes of urban sprawl (decentralization) in the United States: natural Evolution, flight from blight, and the fiscalization of land use.
  8. Commuting in transit versus automobile neighborhoods”,
  9. (2000). Correction: actual causes of death in the united states,
  10. (2001). Department of Transportation: Route log and finder
  11. (2007). Did highways cause suburbanization?”,
  12. (1986). Diego surveyed for heart-healthy foods and exercise facilities”, Public Health Reports 101; 216–9:
  13. (1999). Do the poor pay more for food? an analysis of grocery store availability and food price disparities”,
  14. Does neighborhood design influence travel? A behavioral analysis of travel diary and GIS data”, Transportation Center Working paper No.
  15. (2005). Economic causes and consequences of obesity”,
  16. (2005). Excess deaths associated with Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity”,
  17. (2008). Fat city: questioning the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity”,
  18. (2002). Food deserts”—evidence and assumption in health policy making”.
  19. (2003). Gerberding before the Senate Committee on Appropriations,
  20. (2001). In:
  21. (2000). Land use and transportation interaction: Implications on public health and quality of life”,
  22. (2007). Linking land use planning and the food environment”, Smart Growth Online,
  23. (2004). Marriage Market Incentives to Invest in Health”, Ph.D. dissertation.
  24. Neighborhood environments: disparities in access to healthy foods in the US”,
  25. (2006). Neighborhood safety and overweight status in children”,
  26. Neighborhoods and obesity”,
  27. (2000). Obesity as a medical problem”,
  28. (2003). Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis”, Annals of internal medicine 138;24-32:
  29. (2004). Obesity rates, income, and suburban sprawl: an analysis of US states”,
  30. (2004). Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars”,
  31. (2002). Prevalence and trends in obesity among U.S. adults, 1999–2000”,
  32. (2006). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999–2004”,
  33. (1997). Pricing strategy to promote fruit and vegetable purchase in high school cafeterias”,
  34. (2005). Public health strategies for dietary change: schools and workplaces”,
  35. (2003). Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity and morbidity”,
  36. (2006). Relationship between Urban Sprawl and Weight of United States Youth”,
  37. (2009). Residential environments and obesity: estimating causal effects. In, Geographies of Obesity: Environmental Understandings of the Obesity Epidemic. London, UK, Ashgate. (Geographies of Health Series).
  38. (1999). Site design and pedestrian travel”, 27 Transportation Research Record 1674;9-19:
  39. (2002). The association between urban form and physical activity in U.S. adults”,
  40. (2008). The association of fast food, fruit and vegetable prices with dietary intakes among US adults: Is there modification by family income?”
  41. (2006). The availability and cost of healthier food alternatives”,
  42. (1993). The causes of metropolitan suburbanization”,
  43. (1996). Understanding the link between urban form and nonwork travel behavior”,
  44. (2000). urban design, and nonwork travel: Reproducing other urban areas’ empirical test results in Portland,
  45. (2004). Urban sprawl and risk for being overweight or obese”,
  46. (2003). Variance estimation for the instrumental variables approach to measurement error in generalized linear models”,
  47. (2006). You are where you shop: grocery store locations, weight, and neighborhoods”,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.