Socio-Spatial Controls of Obesity in Delhi and Its Environs

Naresh Kumar, University of Iowa and Brown University
Adina K. Batnitzky, University of Oxford

This paper examines the effect of urban sprawl, access to green spaces and land-use type on body mass index (BMI) in the Delhi Metropolitan area. Findings from a 2004 survey, which included the use of remote sensing satellite imagery and distance from the city center as a proxy of urban sprawl, indicate that although the average BMI is within a normal range, per capita household expenditures, male specific access to green space, land use type and urban sprawl all have a statistically significant relationship with BMI. While a positive association of BMI and SES is contrary to what is observed in developed countries, its positive relationship with access to green spaces and urban sprawl is similar to what is being reported in developed countries. We suggest that the process of urbanization and scarcity of open spaces coupled with longer commuting time are likely to contribute to the rise of overweight/obesity in large metropolitan areas such as Delhi.

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Presented in Poster Session 7