Rui Wang, UCLA School of Public Affairs, will present at talk at the monthly IoES/Luskin faculty research seminar. His talk is entitled, “Built Environment, Travel, Nutrition and Health in Chinese Cities.”
Using a longitudinal survey of households and communities in China, this study examines the potential causal relationship between the built environment and travel behavior, nutrition intake, and health of urban residents. The results show that: (1) household income, size, and accessibility to transit and schools affect motor vehicle ownership, though differently depending on motor vehicle type and city size; (2) increase in household income and ownership of motor vehicle reduce the likelihood of cycling or walking by adult commuters; (3) availability of fast food restaurants in neighborhood and ownership of car increase children’s consumption of fast food; (4) the numbers of accessible supermarkets and free markets have opposite effects on urban residents’ food consumption, measured by intakes of calorie, protein, carbohydrate and fat. Income level positively affects intake of protein. Ownership of motorcycle positively affects intake of protein and adult intake of carbohydrate. Neighborhood accessibility to fast food positively affects carbohydrate intake; and (5) adult body mass index is affected positively by income and negatively by education level and participation in housework. Overall, neighborhood food environment, such as access to markets and fast food restaurants, shows significant effects on urban residents’ food and nutrition intake, but not significantly on their health outcomes. While some features of the built environment, such as accessibility to transit and schools, show little direct effect on travel behavior, nutrition intake, or health of Chinese urban residents. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that their effects may be indirect, through household vehicle ownership.
The Faculty Research Seminar meets on the first Monday of every month to present the latest from UCLA’s scholars. A different faculty member presents their research and publications at every meeting, making the FRS a source of diverse perspectives on some of the most important issues of today. This year’s speakers come from departments across UCLA, including the Institute of the Environment, the Anderson School of Management and the UCLA Law School.
A light lunch will be served at the event. Please RSVP before the date of the event.