BOSTON, March 17 (UPI) -- African-American women who live in densely populated urban areas gain less weight than those in more sprawling auto-oriented areas, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Patricia Coogan, a senior epidemiologist at the Slone Center and an associate professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues assessed the association of women's residential environments with weight change and the incidence of obesity during a six-year period of follow-up in the Black Women's Health Study.
The researchers focused on nearly 18,000 African-American women who lived in the New York, Chicago or Los Angeles metropolitan areas, considered dense urban neighborhoods.
After six years, those with the high urban density scores had lower incidence of obesity versus the women who lived in suburban or rural neighborhoods with low urban scores -- mainly because they walk more.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.