Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Obesity-related behaviours and BMI in five urban regions across Europe: the SPOTLIGHT project

In a paper just published in BMJ Open, we describe the design, methods and first results of a survey on obesity-related behaviours and body mass index (BMI) in adults living in neighbourhoods from five urban regions across Europe. Dr. Jeroen Lakerveld is first author on this paper, and it is based on a cross-sectional observational study in the framework of a European Union-funded project on obesogenic environments (SPOTLIGHT).
60 urban neighbourhoods (12 per country) were randomly selected in large urban zones in Belgium, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK, based on high or low values for median household income (socioeconomic status, i.e. SES) and residential area density.
A total of 6037 adults participated in the online survey. Self-reported physical activity, sedentary behaviours, dietary habits and BMI were obtained and other measures included general health; barriers and motivations for a healthy lifestyle, perceived social and physical environmental characteristics; the availability of transport modes and their use to specific destinations; self-defined neighbourhood boundaries and items related to residential selection. These survey data were obtained additionally to more objective data about the build and/or physical environmental contexts in these urban areas; initial earlier paper.
information on these data was published in an
The first results of the survey show that across five countries, residents from low-SES neighbourhoods ate less fruit and vegetables, drank more sugary drinks and had a consistently higher
BMI. SES differences in sedentary behaviours were observed in France, with residents from higher SES neighbourhoods reporting to sit more. Residents from low-density neighbourhoods were less physically active than those from high-density neighbourhoods; during leisure time and (most pronounced) for transport (except for Belgium). BMI differences by residential density were inconsistent across all countries.