Where you live may actually contribute to your risk of someday developing type 2 diabetes, says a study published in the October 12, 2009,
issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers conducted
the first multisite prospective study
to examine if residential environments that support more physical activity and healthier diets may contribute to
a lower incidence of the disease.

The data were obtained by observing participants involved in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based trial of more than 2,200 adults aged 45–84 years at
baseline, as well as from neighborhood characteristics gleaned from population-based studies.

At the end of the 5-year study
period, the researchers determined that neighborhoods that promoted healthy lifestyles by providing opportunities to be physically active and eat healthier foods had a 38% lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, even after
adjustments were made for individual
dietary factors, physical activity level
or body mass index.

“Better neighborhood resources were associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, which suggests
that improving environmental features may be a viable population-level strategy for addressing this disease,” the authors concluded.