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Exploring Obesogenic Environments

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Correlating obesity in children to walkability of a neighbourhood

Location: Bengaluru

Partner/Collaborators: St. John’s Research Institute (SJRI)

Duration: Feb - August 2018

Status: Finished

The project investigated the relationship between quality and design of the urban environment and obesity in school going children through assessment of walkability of neighbourhoods. The base data for obesity in children was gathered through the ‘Pediatric Epidemiology, and Child Health (PEACH)’ study, by St. John’s Research Institute (SJRI), Bengaluru. The study considered a cohort of 10,000 students over 6 years in 200 schools in Bengaluru.

The outcome of the collaborative project has been development of a walkability index using a stratified random sampling method, using a set of 200 of 10,000 students representing all the diverse typologies of urban areas in the city. This walkability index can potentially be extrapolated to the entire city as well as be used as a foundation to test the relation of other factors that may affect walkability in the Indian context.

'The obesogenicity of an environment has been defined as ‘the sum of in- fluences that the surroundings, opportunities, or conditions of life have on promoting obesity in individuals or populations.’ Shaping the environment to better support healthful decisions has the poten- tial to be a key aspect of a successful obesity prevention intervention.'

- Lake, A., & Townshend, T. (2006). Obesogenic environments: exploring the built and food environments. Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 126(6), 262–267.


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