Mixed land use and walkability: Variations in land use measures and relationships with BMI, overweight, and obesity

Health Place. 2009 Dec;15(4):1130-41. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.008. Epub 2009 Jul 4.


Few studies compare alternative measures of land use diversity or mix in relationship to body mass index. We compare four types of diversity measures: entropy scores (measures of equal distributions of walkable land use categories), distances to walkable destinations (parks and transit stops), proxy measures of mixed use (walk to work measures and neighborhood housing ages), and land use categories used in entropy scores. Generalized estimating equations, conducted on 5000 randomly chosen licensed drivers aged 25-64 in Salt Lake County, Utah, relate lower BMIs to older neighborhoods, components of a 6-category land use entropy score, and nearby light rail stops. Thus the presence of walkable land uses, rather than their equal mixture, relates to healthy weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Environment Design*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity*
  • Overweight
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Urban Health
  • Walking*