Crime is bad for your health

We have another paper published from the Moving Across Places Study (MAPS) of physical activity levels before and after light rail construction and street rehabilitation in a low-income and ethnically mixed neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This paper appears in Preventive Medicine: “Physical activity mediates the relationship between perceived crime safety and obesity.”

Our study suggests that residents’ low perceived safety is related to more obesity and higher BMI; lower physical activity among residents explained part of this relationship.  Policy implication: it is crucial to address perceived crime safety as part of broader efforts to enhance active living.  Not a shocking conclusion, but this is the type of basic social needs that can be neglected as we rush to build bike paths, plant trees and install street furniture.