In this study originally posted on DoctorsLounge, it appears the medical community is making headway in linking a person’s immediate environment to their personal health. Of course, we’ve known for a long while that air pollution (smog) and hazardous waste can effect a person’s health, but this new study determined that those living in obese communities are more likely to become obese themselves. Their environment perpetuates obesity. Obviously the first step is to get out of the situation, but that isn’t always easy to do. Read the following brief study findings and if you are struggling with weight or weight-related issues, connect with weight management experts such as those as Saint Camillus Medical Center (https://saintcamillusmedicalcenter.com) in Hurst, TX to discover your healthy options.
Body mass index (BMI) and odds of overweight and/or obesity are increased with exposure to communities with higher rates of obesity, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Ashlesha Datar, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and Nancy Nicosia, Ph.D., from RAND Corporation in Boston, examined whether exposure to communities with higher rates of obesity is associated with increased BMI in individuals and with their risk of being overweight or obese. Data were obtained from the Military Teenagers’ Environments, Exercise, and Nutrition study for families from 38 military installations around the United States. Participants included one parent and one 12- or 13-year-old child from 1,519 families.
The researchers found that a 1-percentage-point higher county obesity rate was correlated with higher BMI (difference, 0.08) and increased odds of obesity (adjusted odds ratio, 1.05) in parents; in children, there was an increased BMI z score (0.01) and elevated odds of overweight/obesity (adjusted odds ratio, 1.04). Stronger correlations were seen for families with more time at installation and off-installation residence. Even after the researchers controlled for shared built environments, the correlations persisted.
“There was no evidence to support self-selection or shared built environments as possible explanations, which suggests the presence of social contagion in obesity,” the authors write.