Obesogenic urban environments: An assessment of socio-spatial disparities in a South East Asian context

Authors: Shin Bin Tan*, MIT
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Asia
Keywords: obesogenic environments, health, Asia, urban, spatial disparities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Health disparities are widely acknowledged to fall along socioeconomic and ethnic/racial lines, where less well-off, minority groups tend to have more negative health outcomes, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. One oft-cited explanation for higher obesity prevalence rates among the poor and ethnic minorities is that these groups often reside in ‘obesogenic’ environments, which lack healthy, fresh food, and which offer few opportunities for physical activity. Studies have been carried out to map the link between socioeconomic, ethnic neighborhood compositions and the degree of obesogenicity of the built environment, but largely in Western cities. To investigate this hypothesis within a dense urban South East Asian city, Singapore, my study will look at whether neighbourhoods located in areas (i.e. the equivalent of a town) with a larger proportion of ethnic minorities, and/or of lower income residents are more or less likely to be ‘obesogenic’, in terms of accessibility to parks, open spaces, public transport and food options.

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