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Research – Food, cars and kilograms, University of Melbourne

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on June 6th, 2007

A report recently released by the University of Melbourne has revealed that where you live has an impact on how much you exercise, what you eat and even how much you weigh. The study by Universitys School of Population Health, examined 5000 people’s eating and exercise habits across 50 neighbourhoods in Melbourne as part of the Victorian Lifestyle and Neighbourhoods Environment Study (VicLANES), funded by VicHealth.

The research shows that residents of lower socio-economic areas weigh more, walk less, buy more fast food and eat less fruit than people in more advantaged areas. However, researcher Associate Professor Anne Kavanagh says these differences cannot just be put down to income.

“It seems that whether you live in a richer or poorer neighbourhood could be a more important factor that your actual individual income,” she says. “Living in low income areas was still important even after we took into account the fact the individual socio-economic position of the people who lived in the areas. That is, living in low socio-economic areas is harmful for both high income and low income households. This suggests there is something in the physical or other characteristics of low income areas that are preventing people from exercising and making healthy eating choices.” [ The University of Melbourne Voice Vol. 1, No. 6 28 May – 11 June 2007 ]

For more details about the research, visit the University of Melbourne website.

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