Urban environments and obesity in southeast Asia: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression.


Angkurawaranon, C; Jiraporncharoen, W; Chenthanakij, B; Doyle, P; Nitsch, D; (2014) Urban environments and obesity in southeast Asia: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression. PLoS One, 9 (11). e113547. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113547

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Abstract

Many environmental factors contribute to the rise in prevalence of obesity in populations but one key driver is urbanization. Countries in Southeast (SE) Asia have undergone rapid changes in urbanization in recent decades. The aim of this study is to provide a systematic review of studies exploring the relationship between living in an urban or rural environment (urbanicity) and obesity in Southeast Asia. In particular, the review will investigate whether the associations are uniform across countries and ages, and by sex. The literature search was conducted up to June 2014 using five databases: EMBASE, PubMed, GlobalHealth, DigitalJournal and Open Grey. Forty-five articles representing eight of the eleven countries in SE Asia were included in the review. The review found a consistent positive association between urbanicity and obesity in countries of Southeast Asia, in all age groups and both genders. Regional differences between the associations are partly explained by gross national income (GNI). In countries with lower GNI per capita, the association between urbanicity and obesity was greater. Such findings have implications for policy makers. They imply that population level interventions need to be country or region specific, tailored to suit the current stage of economic development. In addition, less developed countries might be more vulnerable to the negative health impact of urbanization than more developed countries.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 25426942
Web of Science ID: 349145400062
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2026616

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