TitleThe Association Between Urban Sprawl And Obesity: Is It A Two-Way Street?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPlantinga, AJ, Bernell, S
JournalJournal of Regional Science
Pagination857 - 879
Date Published12/2007

We empirically examine the relationship between obesity and urban development patterns where individuals reside. Previous analyses treat urban form as exogenous to weight, and find higher body mass indices (BMI) among residents of areas with sprawl patterns of development. Using samples of recent movers, we find that the causality runs in both directions. Individuals who move to denser locations lose weight. As well, BMI is a determinant of the choice of a dense or sprawling location. In sum, while moving to a dense area results in weight loss, such locations are unlikely to be selected by individuals with high BMI.