Special Issue "Obesity and Urban Environments"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 June 2018)
Prof. Dr. Peter Congdon
Department of Geography and Life Sciences Institute, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 44 207 882 8200
Interests: chronic disease epidemiology; urban environments and health; spatial epidemiology; health geography; mental ill health; suicidology
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health welcomes submissions for a Special Issue of the journal. This Special Issue will focus on obesity and the urban environment.
Obesity is a major public health issue, affecting both developed and developing societies. Obesity increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and type II diabetes. Impacts on obesity and overweight of the urban physical and social environment have figured large in the recent epidemiological literature. Although genetic factors affect susceptibility to obesity, they cannot account for the rapid increases in obesity in recent decades. Instead, physical activity and diet are the focus in explaining this adverse trend. Environmental factors are important influences on changing levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and changing dietary behaviours, which are precursors to development of excess weight through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Variations in the impact of these factors according to socioeconomic level, poverty status, ethnicity and geographic location are a major focus.
Analytic approaches to studying environmental impacts may be provided by multilevel frameworks accounting for contextual risk factors beyond the individual, including the home, parental characteristics, and the physical and social environment. Studies with a primarily geographic focus are also relevant, for example to assessing urban-rural contrasts, or rising obesity levels and changing nutrition patterns in developing countries.
Regarding environmental influences on physical activity, proximal (home) factors include influences on sedentary behaviour during childhood and activity levels across the life course. Distal (neighbourhood) influences include aspects of the urban configuration such as sprawl and low walkability, as well as area social capital and neighbourhood disorder. Sprawl has been defined as low density suburban development, with segregated land uses, with high automobile dependence. By contrast, walkable neighbourhoods facilitate walking or bicycling to amenities such as shopping centres, parks, schools and entertainment centres, rather than requiring automobile trips.
Regarding environmental influences on patterns of diet, the local food environment and access to healthy food outlets is a major research focus. Food deserts have been defined as areas with diminished access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods, and tending to be found in socio-economically deprived areas or ethnic minority neighbourhoods. This is taken to reflect the location of supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets, as opposed to fast food outlets and convenience stores offering processed food with high sugar and fat content.
The Special Issue invites studies on these and closely related themes, with a focus on obesity and overweight as outcomes.
Prof. Dr. Peter Congdon
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- physical activity
- sedentary behaviour
- healthy food