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Better Neighborhoods Rival Medication in Obesity Battle

Health, environment, obesity

If you’ve begun to pack on the pounds, your doctor may recommend that you get up and move around. But a new study suggests that it’s not just your body you should be moving. Researchers have found that relocating people out of poor neighborhoods can be as effective as drugs in reducing their chances of becoming overweight and developing diabetes.

The idea that neighborhoods have subtle but powerful effects on our health goes back at least to the 1920s, says Jens Ludwig, a sociologist at the University of Chicago Law School. “This question is one that I have been personally very interested in for a long time, partly because I live here on the South Side of Chicago [where] there are massive disparities in people’s life outcomes and well-being.” But how to tease apart the causes?

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