New Study Shows Moving to Better Neighborhoods Reduces Diabetes Risk, as Reported by DiabeticLive.com
According to researchers at the University of Chicago, moving to a better neighborhood can also have a positive effect, similar to that of lifestyle changes and a regimen of diabetes medication as reported by DiabeticLive.com.
Orlando, FL (PRWEB) October 21, 2011
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise aren’t the only lifestyle changes that can help reduce risk of obesity and diabetes. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, moving to a better neighborhood can also have a positive effect, similar to that of lifestyle changes and a regimen of diabetes medication. The research was published in the October 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who headed the study, stated that “the effects we see in the study are comparable to what you see from targeted lifestyle interventions or with providing people with medications to prevent the onset of diabetes.”
Although the research did not prove a causal relationship, it does suggest that an individual’s neighborhood can have implications for his or her risk of obesity and diabetes. One limitation of the study is that it only measured height, weight, and diabetes at the conclusion of the study and not at the beginning.
Researchers looked at data from 4,500 mothers who were involved with the Moving to Opportunity program, which took place from 1994 to 1998. The U.S. government issued vouchers to mothers who lived in public housing where at least 40 percent of the residents earned an income that placed them below poverty level; the mothers were issued vouchers that allowed them to move to higher-income neighborhoods.
The women receiving vouchers were separated into three groups: 1,788 received vouchers to move into neighborhoods with less than a 10 percent poverty level; 1,312 received vouchers that were good for any location; and 1,398 did not receive vouchers. Women receiving vouchers also participated in counseling for moving.
Over a decade after vouchers were issued, the government met with the program’s participants again, collecting data on their height, weight, and diabetes status.
Women who were classified as obese (having a body mass index of 30 or higher) did not demonstrate any significant differences between the three groups. However, women who received no vouchers were more likely to be severely obese (BMI of 35 or higher); 35 percent of women who received no vouchers were severely obese compared to 31 percent who did receive vouchers. Morbid obesity, defined as a BMI of 40 or more, was also more prevalent among women who didn’t receive vouchers at 18 percent versus 14 percent.
Additionally, diabetes was more common in women who did not receive vouchers at 20 percent versus 16 percent for women who did receive vouchers.
According to Ludwig, moving to a better neighborhood offers a variety of benefits that could be responsible for the changes, including better access to supermarkets with healthy food, better health care, and less stress.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebDiabetes/Risks/prweb8899342.htm