Neighborhoods, Obesity and Diabetes –-- A Randomized Social Experiment

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Neighborhoods, Obesity and Diabetes –-- A Randomized Social Experiment

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Title: Neighborhoods, Obesity and Diabetes –-- A Randomized Social Experiment
Author: Ludwig, Jens; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa; Gennetian, Lisa; Adam, Emma; Duncan, Greg J.; Katz, Lawrence F.; Kessler, Ronald; Kling, Jeffrey R.; Tessler, Stacy; Whitaker, Robert C.; McDade, Thomas W.

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Citation: Ludwig, Jens, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Lisa Gennetian, Emma Adam, Greg J. Duncan, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, et al. 2011. Neighborhoods, obesity and diabetes --- a randomized social experiment. New England Journal of Medicine 365(16): 1509-19.
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Abstract: Background: The question of whether neighborhood environment contributes directly to the development of obesity and diabetes remains unresolved. The study reported on here uses data from a social experiment to assess the association of randomly assigned variation in neighborhood conditions with obesity and diabetes. Methods: From 1994 through 1998, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) randomly assigned 4498 women with children living in public housing in high-poverty urban census tracts (in which ≥40% of residents had incomes below the federal poverty threshold) to one of three groups: 1788 were assigned to receive housing vouchers, which were redeemable only if they moved to a low-poverty census tract (where <10% of residents were poor), and counseling on moving; 1312 were assigned to receive unrestricted, traditional vouchers, with no special counseling on moving; and 1398 were assigned to a control group that was offered neither of these opportunities. From 2008 through 2010, as part of a long-term follow-up survey, we measured data indicating health outcomes, including height, weight, and level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA\(_{1c}\)).
Published Version: doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1103216
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