Summary

In general, studies investigating neighborhood physical environments in relation to behavioral outcomes suggest that residing in better environments (i.e., more access to healthy foods and resources for physical activity) is cross-sectionally associated with greater physical activity, healthier diets, and, to a lesser extent, lower BMI. The results are far less consistent regarding aspects of neighborhood social environments in relation to these outcomes. Many theoretical and methodological challenges exist to determine if these associations are causal. These challenges are discussed in the remainder of the chapter.

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