Contributions of multiple built environment features to 10-year change in body mass index and waist circumference in a south australian middle-aged cohort

Suzanne J. Carroll, Michael J. Dale, Anne W. Taylor, Mark Daniel

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Residential areas may shape health, yet few studies are longitudinal or concurrently test relationships between multiple residential features and health. This longitudinal study concurrently assessed the contributions of multiple environmental features to 10-year change in clinically measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). Longitudinal data for adults (18+ years of age, n = 2253) from the north-west of Adelaide, Australia were linked to built environment measures representing the physical activity and food environment (expressed for residence-based 1600 m road-network buffers) and area education. Associations were concurrently estimated using latent growth models. In models including all environmental exposure measures, area education was associated with change in BMI and WC (protective effects). Dwelling density was associated with worsening BMI and WC but also highly correlated with area education and moderately correlated with count of fast food outlets. Public open space (POS) area was associated with worsening WC. Intersection density, land use mix, greenness, and a retail food environment index were not associated with change in BMI or WC. This study found greater dwelling density and POS area exacerbated increases in BMI and WC. Greater area education was protective against worsening body size. Interventions should consider dwelling density and POS, and target areas with low SES.

Original languageEnglish
Article number870
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Area socioeconomic status
  • Body mass index
  • Built environment
  • Food environment
  • Longitudinal
  • Physical activity environment
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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