Urban green space and obesity in older adults: Evidence from Ireland

March 12, 2018 | Journal Article

front cover of JA201816 Authors: Seraphim Dempsey , Seán Lyons , Anne Nolan
SSM - Population Health , Vol. 4, April 2018, pp. 206-215

We examine the association between living in an urban area with more or less green space and the probability of being obese. This work involves the creation of a new dataset which combines geo-coded data at the individual level from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing with green space data from the European Urban Atlas 2012. We find evidence suggestive of a u-shaped relationship between green space in urban areas and obesity; those living in areas with the lowest and highest shares of green space within a 1.6 km buffer zone have a higher probability of being classified as obese (BMI ⩾30). The unexpected result that persons in areas with both the lowest and highest shares of green space have a higher probability of being obese than those in areas with intermediate shares, suggests that other characteristics of urban areas may be mediating this relationship.

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