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Built environment for physical activity (2020)

an urban barometer, surveillance, and monitoring

The Lancet Commission on Obesity (LCO), also known as the “syndemic commission,” states that radical changes are required to harness the common drivers of “obesity, undernutrition, and climate change.” Urban design, land use, and the built environment are few such drivers. Holding individuals responsible for obesity detracts from the obesogenic built environments. Pedestrian priority and dignity, wide pavements with tree canopies, water fountains with potable water, benches for the elderly at regular intervals, access to open-green spaces within 0.5-km radius and playgrounds in schools are required. Facilities for physical activity at worksite, prioritization of staircases and ramps in building construction, redistribution of land use, and access to quality, adequate capacity, comfortable, and well-networked public transport, which are elderly and differently abled sensitive with universal design are some of the interventions that require urgent implementation and monitoring. An urban barometer consisting of valid relevant indicators aligned to the sustainable development goals (SDGs), UN-Habitat-3 and healthy cities, should be considered a basic human right and ought to be mounted for purposes of surveillance and monitoring. A “Framework Convention on Built Environment and Physical Activity” needs to be taken up by WHO and the UN for uptake and implementation by member countries.

Literatuurverwijzing: Devarajan, R., Prabhakaran, D., & Goenka, S. (2020). Built environment for physical activity: an urban barometer, surveillance, and monitoring. Obesity Reviews 21

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