New research by Dr. Gillian Booth shows that neighbourhoods where it is easy to walk have lower rates of diabetes and stable rates of obesity. The study, published this week in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at 9,000 neighbourhoods across Southern Ontario, and involved 3 million people and 15 municipalities.
“This study is encouraging because it shows the importance of a person’s community in relation to their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Jan Hux, chief science officer for the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). “This shows the need for a larger approach to how we tackle the diabetes epidemic. We need to work with municipal governments on ways to make communities more walkable, especially where walking is not now possible or encouraged. There is so much more to preventing the likely increase of type 2 diabetes than simply asking people to move more and eat less."
Dr. Booth, an endocrinologist and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, as well as an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, has had several of her research studies funded by the CDA and is currently being funded for a study on health-care costs for people with diabetes.
“The CDA is proud to have been a long-time funder of Dr. Gillian Booth’s research, which looks at diabetes and our communities through an innovative lens,” says Rick Blickstead, president and CEO of the CDA. “This walkability study speaks to the need to look outside the box for solutions to type 2 diabetes prevention and we look forward to further research in this area."
You can learn more about Dr. Booth’s findings on the St. Michael’s Hospital website.