Objectives: I examined the association between urban sprawl and the risk for being overweight or obese among US adults.
Methods: A measure of urban sprawl in metropolitan areas was derived from the 2000 US Census; individual-level data were obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. I used multilevel analysis to assess the association between urban sprawl and obesity.
Results: After I controlled for gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, and education, for each 1-point rise in the urban sprawl index (0-100 scale), the risk for being overweight increased by 0.2% and the risk for being obese increased by 0.5%.
Conclusions: The current obesity epidemic has many causes, but there is an association between urban sprawl and obesity.