Built environmental characteristics and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Urban residence is associated with a 1.4 higher risk/prevalence of type 2 diabetes, as opposed to rural areas. Whereas higher neighborhood walkability, meaning that facilities are within walking distance and walking is supported by the infrastructure, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, green space such as parks was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
"In our research we focused on environmental characteristics related to physical activity, such as the availability of parks and sports facilities, but also factors related to nutrition, such as availability of supermarkets and fast-food outlets", according to researcher Nicole den Braver of the department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at VUmc. Environmental characteristics related to the physical activity were more consistently associated with type 2 diabetes, whereas associations between characteristics of the food environment and type 2 diabetes were inconsistent.