11/30/2015 03:28 EST | Updated 11/30/2015 05:59 EST

Metro Vancouver's Walkable Neighbourhoods Lower Odds Of Obesity: Study

Mark Boster via Getty Images
A jogger runs along the seawall in Vancouver's Stanley Park with Coal Harbor and the city in the backgound November 17, 2009. The city of Vancouver is gearing–up for the 2010 Winter Olympics with stores, restaurants and hotels getting ready to be in the world spotlight. Two–hours north of the city, Whistler is getting the olympic venues groomed and built for the alpine competitions (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

VANCOUVER — Metro Vancouver residents living in the region's most walkable neighbourhoods are about a third less likely to be overweight or obese than those living in the region's more car-dependent areas.

Those findings come out of a study conducted by researcher Salman Klar of the Fraser Health Authority and presented at this week's World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver.

Klar says living in walkable areas significantly lowers the odds of being obese, which is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

vancouver seawall

Vancouver's seawall in Stanley Park. (Photo: Insapphowetrust/FLICKR)

Klar's research explores the relationship between body mass index and neighbourhood walkability.

Dr. Jat Sandhu of Vancouver Coastal Health says municipal planners would do well to keep these findings in mind when designing healthy neighbourhoods.

Data for the study came from a self-reported survey conducted primarily online between 2013 and 2014, which targeted British Columbians aged 18 and older.

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