Individual and socio-environmental determinants of overweight and obesity in Urban Canada

Theodora Pouliou, Susan J Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Overweight/obesity represent a significant public health problem in Canada and abroad. The objective of this paper is to identify potential associations between overweight/obesity and individual as well as socio-environmental determinants. The data sources used are the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey and the Desktop Mapping Technologies Incorporated database. Geographical Information Systems are first employed to create neighbourhood-level variables such as neighbourhood walkability and fast food accessibility. Multivariate analysis is then applied to estimate the relative effects of individual- and neighbourhood-level risk-factors of overweight/obesity. Results demonstrate the important role of the built-environment after adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and behavioural characteristics. Findings support the rationale that reversing current trends will require a multifaceted public health approach where interventions are developed from the individual- to the neighbourhood-level, with a particular focus on altering obesogenic environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-98
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Place
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Environment Design
  • Obesity
  • Humans
  • British Columbia
  • Overweight
  • Body Mass Index
  • Ontario
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Adult
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Female
  • Male
  • Social Environment
  • Prevalence


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