A new study out of Toronto published online in the journal Diabetes Care inversely links walkable cities and diabetes.
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences examined data from more than one million residents of Toronto and concluded that people who lived in less walkable neighborhoods were significantly more likely over time to develop diabetes. The effect was particularly strong for immigrants to the city, many of whom live with a high-risk combination of genetic predisposition to diabetes, poverty and poor walkability. In the most startling finding, the study found that a new immigrant in a less walkable neighborhood was more than 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than a long-term resident of Toronto living in one of the most walkable areas, regardless of neighborhood income.
A great article from UConn Today profiles Debarchana Ghosh, who researches and teaches in the health geography arena. Among her big ideas:
Ghosh, who joined UConn last fall, wants to add the availability of unhealthy foods to the definition of a food desert. She was recently awarded a grant from the CLAS Bennett Fund for Innovative Education in Health and Society, which supports programs and undergraduate education addressing the social aspects of human health.
As part of its efforts to promote equity in health and health care, the Aetna Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Aetna, has bestowed a $130,000 grant on the New York-based Hispanic Federation. The funds will be used to launch the organization's pilot program that will engage Brooklyn teenagers in the drive to improve Latino health outcomes and reduce health disparities in the North Brooklyn community of South Williamsburg.
The initiative, called Youth Health Explorers, will train 36 Latino teenagers, aged 14 to 19, in the science of community mapping, on-the-street interviews and data analysis, to determine the environmental factors in their predominately Hispanic neighborhoods that can influence their communities' high rates of obesity, especially among young people.
The students will use GPS devices and Google Maps.