ESRI Research Bulletin

Urban green space and obesity in older adults

ESRI Research Bulletin Articles provide short summaries of work published by ESRI researchers and overviews of thematic areas covered by ESRI programmes of research. Bulletin Articles are designed to be easily accessible to a wide readership. A reference or references to the full publication is included at the start of each Bulletin article.

April 12, 2018
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Some international research suggests that green spaces such as parks in urban areas can encourage physical activity and help to reduce obesity in the urban population. However, this relationship is difficult to isolate because obesity rates can be influenced by many socio-economic characteristics and behaviours. In this study we link data on body mass index (BMI) for a large representative sample of over-50s living in urban areas of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to digital maps showing how much green space is near their homes. We then use statistical tools to see whether those living in areas with more or less green space are at an increased risk of obesity after taking into account many other socio-economic characteristics of these individuals.