Advancing Obesity Solutions Through Investments in the Built Environment: Proceedings of a Workshop


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

The built environment—the physical world made up of the homes, buildings, streets, and infrastructure within which we all live, work, and play—underwent changes during the 20th and 21st centuries. These changes contributed to a sharp decline in physical activity and affected access to healthy foods, which have added to the weight gain observed among Americans in recent decades. As such, policies and practices that affect the built environment could affect obesity rates in the United States and improve the health of Americans. This Proceedings of a Workshop highlights key points made by workshop participants and discussions from the September 12, 2017 workshop. The workshop brought together diverse partners to examine the ways in which the places we live, work, and play influence obesity, health, and equity. Real estate developers, leaders from state, regional and local government, and innovative non-profit organizations came together to discuss strategies to create more healthful and equitable built environments, concluding with a wide-ranging discussion on next steps.