Urban living and obesity : is it independent of its population and lifestyle characteristics?

Arambepola, Carukshi, Allender, Steven, Ekanayake, R. and Fernando, D. 2008, Urban living and obesity : is it independent of its population and lifestyle characteristics?, Tropical medicine & international health, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 448-457.

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Title Urban living and obesity : is it independent of its population and lifestyle characteristics?
Author(s) Arambepola, Carukshi
Allender, Steven
Ekanayake, R.
Fernando, D.
Journal name Tropical medicine & international health
Volume number 13
Issue number 4
Start page 448
End page 457
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2008-04
ISSN 1360-2276
1365-3156
Keyword(s) urban
rural
obesity
body mass index
determinants
population-based study
Summary OBJECTIVES: Living in an urban area influences obesity. However, little is known about whether this relationship is truly independent of, or merely mediated through, the demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics of urban populations. We aimed to identify and quantify the magnitude of this relationship in a Sri Lankan population.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study of adults aged 20-64 years representing the urban (n = 770) and rural (n = 630) populations, in the district of Colombo in 2004. Obesity was measured as a continuous variable using body mass index (BMI). Demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors were assessed. Gender-specific multivariable regression models were developed to quantify the independent effect of urban/ rural living and other variables on increased BMI.

RESULTS: The BMI (mean; 95% confidence interval) differed significantly between urban (men: 23.3; 22.8-23.8; women: 24.2; 23.7-24.7) and rural (men: 22.3; 21.9-22.7; women: 23.2; 22.7-23.7) sectors (P < 0.01). The observed association remained stable independently of all other variables in the regression models among both men (coefficient = 0.64) and women (coefficient = 0.95). These coefficients equated to 2.2 kg weight for the average man and 1.7 kg for the average woman. Other independent associations of BMI were with income (coefficient = 1.74), marital status (1.48), meal size (1.53) and religion (1.20) among men, and with age (0.87), marital status (2.25) and physical activity (0.96) among women.

CONCLUSIONS: Urban living is associated with obesity independently of most other demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics of the population. Targeting urban populations may be useful for consideration when developing strategies to reduce the prevalence of obesity.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Blackwell Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020462

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Public Health Research, Evaluation, and Policy Cluster
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