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Social Justice and the Urban Obesity CrisisImplications for Social Work$
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Melvin Delgado

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160094

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160094.001.0001

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Limits to Places and Spaces for Physical Exercise

Limits to Places and Spaces for Physical Exercise

(p.85) 6 Limits to Places and Spaces for Physical Exercise
Social Justice and the Urban Obesity Crisis

Melvin Delgado

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines how the lack of places and spaces for physical exercise contributes to the problem of obesity. Policies and community/neighborhood infrastructure play a significant role in the prevalence of obesity. In particular, the physical environment can either promote or hinder activities that support health in low-income urban communities of color. In 2006, the Federal Collaboration on Health Disparities Research identified the built environment as a key contributor to health disparities. A social justice perspective provides a lens through which we can better understand the relationship between physical environments and health. The lack of exercise due to an inability or unwillingness to engage in physical activity must be considered in the development of interventions. This chapter looks at the role of the built environment and the obesogenic environment as factors in obesity. It also analyzes the importance of physical spaces in an urban context and how social forces can minimize physical exercise in marginalized urban communities.

Keywords:   physical exercise, overweight, obesity, physical environment, health, urban communities, built environment, obesogenic environment, physical spaces, physical activity

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