Residential context, walking and obesity: Two African-American neighborhoods compared

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Abstract

We compare walking and obesity rates in two African-American neighborhoods that are similar in urban form but different in level of neighborhood disadvantage. We find higher rates of utilitarian walking in the neighborhood with higher density and disadvantage and more destinations within walking distance. However levels of leisure walking and physical activity were not higher, and rates of obesity were not lower in the non-poor neighborhood with better maintenance, more sidewalks and recreational facilities. Different types of barriers to physical activity reported in the two neighborhoods and the high rates of overweight and obesity in both may explain the findings.

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