Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 103, Supplement 3, pp S5–S8 | Cite as

Coming to Consensus on Policy to Create Supportive Built Environments and Community Design

  • Kim D. RaineEmail author
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
  • John C. Spence
  • Neil E. Neary
  • Candace I. J. Nykiforuk
Commentary
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

In April 2011, a conference with invited experts from research, policy and practice was held to build consensus around policy levers to address environmental determinants of obesity. The gap between existing policy tools and what can promote health through community design is a major policy opportunity. This commentary represents a consensus of next actions towards creating built environments that support healthy active living. The policy environment and Canadian evidence are reviewed. Issues and challenges to policy change are discussed. Recommendations to create supportive built environments that encourage healthy active living in communities include the following: 1) empower planning authorities to change bylaws that impede healthy active living, protect and increase access to green space, introduce zoning to increase high density, mixed land use, and influence the location and distribution of food stores; 2) establish stable funding for infrastructure promoting active transportation and opportunities for recreation; 3) evaluate the effectiveness of programs to improve the built environment so that successful interventions can be identified and disseminated; 4) mandate health impact assessment of planning, development and transportation policies to ensure that legislative changes promote health and safety; 5) frame issues to dispel myths and to promote protection from obesity risk factors.

Key words

Child adolescent health status obesity health policy environment design 

Mots clés

enfant adolescent état sanitaire obésité politique sanitaire conception de l’environnement 

Résumé

En avril 2011, une conférence d’experts invités du monde de la recherche, des politiques et de la pratique a cherché à construire des consensus autour de leviers politiques pour aborder les déterminants environnementaux de l’obésité. Le fossé entre les outils stratégiques existants et ceux qui pourraient favoriser la santé par le design communautaire présente une importante occasion stratégique à saisir. Ce commentaire expose le consensus des experts sur les prochaines étapes en vue de la création de milieux bâtis favorisant une vie active saine. Nous passons en revue l’environnement politique et les données probantes canadiennes. Les enjeux et les difficultés des changements d’orientation sont abordés. Les recommandations en vue de créer des milieux bâtis qui encouragent une vie active saine dans les communautés sont les suivantes: 1) habiliter les responsables de la planification à changer les règlements qui nuisent à une vie active saine, à protéger et élargir l’accès aux espaces verts, et à introduire un zonage qui accroît la densité et l’utilisation mixte des sols et qui influence l’emplacement et la répartition des magasins d’alimentation; 2) établir des budgets de financement stables pour les infrastructures qui favorisent le transport actif et les possibilités de loisir; 3) évaluer l’efficacité des programmes d’amélioration du milieu bâti pour que les interventions fructueuses puissent être identifiées et disséminées; 4) ordonner l’évaluation des incidences sur la santé pour toutes les initiatives de planification et les politiques de développement et de transport, afin que les modifications législatives favorisent la santé et la sécurité; 5) présenter les enjeux de manière à déboulonner les mythes et à promouvoir la protection contre les facteurs de risque de l’obésité.

References

  1. 1.
    Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention. Our Focus [online]. 2011. Available at: https://doi.org/abpolicycoalitionforprevention.ca/our-focus.html (Accessed July 30, 2011).
  2. 2.
    The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Canadian Priorities for Addressing Obesity as a Cancer and Chronic Disease Risk Factor. Toronto, ON: Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy Alignment in Action Initiative, 2010.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Heart and Stroke Foundation. Community Design, Physical Activity, Heart Disease and Stroke. 2012. Available at: https://doi.org/www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3820627/k.662E/Position_Statements__Community_Design_physical_activiy_heart_disease_and_stroke.htm (Accessed June 12, 2012).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Health Canada. Natural and Built Environments. Ottawa, ON: Division of Childhood and Adolescence, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Active Healthy Kids Canada. Don’t Let This Be the Most Physical Activity Our Kids Get After School: The Active Healthy Kids Canada 2011 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto, ON: Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2011.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Raine K, Spence JC, Church J, Boulé N, Slater L, Marko J, et al. State of the Evidence Review on Urban Health and Healthy Weights. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2008.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Active Healthy Kids Canada. Canada’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto, ON: Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2008.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention. APCCP Survey Results for Healthy Eating, Active Living, Alcohol Misuse and Tobacco Reduction Issues: Decision-Maker Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention, 2009.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention. Alberta Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Policy Coalition for Cancer Prevention, 2010.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Association pour la santé publique du Québec. The School Zone and Nutrition: Courses of Action for the Municipal Sector. Montreal, QC: Association pour la santé publique du Québec, 2011.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Feng J, Glass TA, Curriero FC, Stewart FC, Stewart WF, Schwartz BS. The built environment and obesity: A systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence. Prev Med 2009;16(2):175–90.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pouliou T, Elliott SJ. Individual and socio-environmental determinants of overweight and obesity in urban Canada. Health & Place 2010;16(2):389–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Prince SA, Tremblay MS, Prud’homme D, Colley R, Sawada M, Kristjansson E. Neighbourhood differences in objectively measured physical activity, sedentary time and body mass index. Open J Prev Med 2011;1(3):182–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Esliger D, Sherar L, Muhajarine N. Smart cities, healthy kids: The association between neighbourhood design and children’s physical activity and time spent sedentary. Can J Public Health 2012;103(Suppl. 3):S22–S28.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shearer C, Blanchard C, Kirk S, Lyons R, Dummer T, Pitter R, et al. Physical activity and nutrition among youth in rural, suburban and urban neighbourhood types. Can J Public Health 2012;103(Suppl. 3):S55–S60.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stone MR, Faulkner GE, Mitra R, Buliung RN. Physical activity patterns of children in Toronto: The relative role of neighbourhood type and socioeconomic status. Can J Public Health 2012;103(Suppl. 3):S9–S14.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Spence JC, Cutumisu N, Edwards J, Evans J. Influence of neighbourhood design and access to facilities on overweight among preschool children. Int J Pediatr Obes 2008;3:109–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Davidson Z, Simen-Kapeu A, Veugelers P. Neighborhood determinants of self-efficacy, physical activity, and body weights among Canadian children. Health & Place 2010;16(3):567–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Potwarka LR, Kaczynski AT, Flack AL. Places to play: Association of park space and facilities with healthy weight status among children. J Community Health 2008;33(5):344–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Singh GK, Siahpush M, Kogan MD. Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions, built environments, and childhood obesity. Health Aff (Millwood) 2010;29(3):503–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gilliland JA, Rangel CY, Healy MA, Tucker P, Loebach JE, Hess PM, et al. Linking childhood obesity to the built environment: A multi-level analysis of home and school neighbourhood factors associated with body mass index. Can J Public Health 2012;103(Suppl. 3):S15–S21.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Holt NL, Cunningham CT, Sehn ZL, Spence JC, Newton AS, Ball GD. Neighborhood physical activity opportunities for inner-city children and youth. Health & Place 2009;15:1022–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Berry TR, Spence JC, Blanchard CM, Cutumisu N, Edwards J, Selfridge G. A longitudinal and cross-sectional examination of the relationship between reasons for choosing a neighbourhood, physical activity and body mass index. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2010;7(1):57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Berry T, Spence J, Blanchard C, Cutumisu N, Edwards J, Nykiforuk C. Changes in BMI over 6 years: The role of demographic and neighborhood characteristics. Int J Obes 2010;34(8):1275–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hemphill E, Raine K, Spence JC, Smoyer-Tomic KE. Exploring obesogenic food environments in Edmonton, Canada: The association between socioeconomic factors and fast-food outlet access. Am J Health Promot 2008;22(6):426–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Smoyer-Tomic KE, Spence JC, Raine KD, Amrhein C, Cameron N, Yasenovskiy V, et al. The association between neighborhood socioeconomic status and exposure to supermarkets and fast food outlets. Health & Place 2008;14(4):740–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Van Hulst A, Barnett TA, Gauvin L, Daniel M, Kestens Y, Bird M, et al. Associations between children’s diets and features of their residential and school neighbourhood food environments. Can J Public Health 2012;103(Suppl. 3):S48–S54.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Spence JC, Cutumisu N, Edwards J, Raine KD, Smoyer-Tomic K. Relation between local food environments and obesity among adults. BMC Public Health 2009;9(1):192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    He M, Tucker P, Gilliland J, Irwin JD, Larsen K, Hess P. The influence of local food environments on adolescents’ food purchasing behaviors. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2012;9:1458–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim D. Raine
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
    • 2
  • John C. Spence
    • 3
  • Neil E. Neary
    • 1
  • Candace I. J. Nykiforuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Community Health and Epidemiology, College of MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations