Built environment and change in body mass index in older women

Yvonne L. Michael, Rachel Gold, Nancy Perrin, Teresa A. Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the association between neighborhood walkability and changes in body mass index (BMI) and obesity during a 14-year follow-up among community-dwelling women 71 years of age on average (n=1008 representing 253 census tracts). Multilevel models predicted change in BMI or incidence of obesity controlling for age, marital status, number of incident comorbidities, self rated health, and death, over a follow-up of 14 years. Among non-sedentary older women, average BMI remained stable (Β=0.007, p=0.291); risk of becoming obese increased 3% per year (odds ratio=1.03, 95% CI 1.01, 1.05). Walkability was not associated with BMI or risk of obesity. Future research should consider additional neighborhood characteristics relevant to older adults, such as proximity to retail, public transit, or parks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalHealth and Place
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Built environment
  • Obesity
  • Older adults
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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