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The relationship between obesity and neighbourhood walkability, socio-economic status and greenspace in the BC Generations cohort

Authors: Trevor Dummer*, University of British Columbia, Molly Sweeney Magee, University of British Columbia, Sean Harrigan, University of British Columbia, Jeffrey Brook, University of Toronto
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Medical and Health Geography, Environment
Keywords: Environment, Health, GIS, Cohort, Obesity, Neighbourhood
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The BC Generations Project (BCGP) is British Columbia’s largest population health longitudinal cohort and a regional member of the 300,000 participant Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP), the Pan-Canadian prospective chronic disease cohort. Baseline questionnaire data (socio-demographic, health, lifestyle, occupation) was collected from 28,000 British Columbia residents aged 35-69 years. Physical measures (height, weight, waist and hip circumference) and biological samples (venous blood) were obtained where possible. Follow-up is through active recontact and passive linkage to administrative health datasets. CPTP/BCGP has been established as a research platform to explore the behavioural, environmental and genetic causes of cancer and other chronic diseases. Data are available to researchers through a data access process.

The Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) is Canada’s environmental data consortium, providing expertise, data and tools related to the built environment. CANUE has constructed a unique repository of standardized metrics of urban, suburban, and rural characteristics, along with the tools used to produce them. Data holdings include a wealth of GIS-generated environmental datasets, including air quality, greenspace, walkability, community socio-economic status (SES), weather and climate. The BCGP cohort participants have been linked to CANUE datasets through their residential postal code to enable studies assessing the impact of the environment on health.

This presentation will provide an overview of the BCGP cohort and summarize the cohort participants in relation to a selection of CANUE neighbourhood datasets: walkability, SES and greenspace. The relationship between obesity and physical activity and these environmental datasets will be described.

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