Built Environment and Diabetes

Sarah M. Mah, David Guillette, Michael J. Widener, Jeffrey R. Brook, Lorraine L. Lipscombe, Gillian L. Booth


Key Findings

  •  Walkability is generally low in most communities in Peel, however there is relatively good access to public parks and greenspace throughout the region. In addition, access to frequent transit is present only in certain regions (i.e. along the lakeshore and in central areas of Mississauga and Brampton) and completely absent in Caledon – creating a further barrier to active transportation as an alternative to car use.
  • Other neighbourhood characteristics that influence the risk of diabetes, such as fast-food access and core housing need, are highly variable across the region, while poor air quality is highly concentrated in communities surrounding the airport and major transit routes.
  •  High diabetes prevalence neighbourhoods have one or more characteristics that make it challenging to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Policies to create healthier environments need to be multifaceted to address the diverse needs of each community.
  •  Some neighbourhoods have favourable characteristics that may compensate for less favourable aspects - for instance, the presence of a transit network may allow one to circumvent living in a less walkable neighbourhood.
  • The spatial overlap between key environmental indicators and diabetes rates underscores the importance of assessing a range of social and environmental characteristics and their collective impacts on diabetes.  

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