Obesity has emerged as a major and growing public health problem in Latin America, and specifically in Brazil. Social and physical environments have been hypothesized to be major determinants of obesity but their contribution to obesity in developing countries has been infrequently examined. This project will establish a collaboration between the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health of the University of Michigan to investigate the role of socioeconomic and neighborhood factors in shaping the distribution of obesity and the related behaviors of diet and physical activity in Belo Horizonte, a large city in Brazil. Using data from a large population-based survey of Belo Horizonte we will (1) examine socioeconomic predictors of obesity, diet, and physical activity (2) test and examine the measurement properties of instruments to measure neighborhood physical and social environments potentially related to cardiovascular risk in the context of a large Latin American;(3) use these instruments to examine associations between neighborhood environments and obesity, diet and physical activity (4) investigate the contribution of these neighborhood factors to the socioeconomic patterning of cardiovascular risk factors in Belo Horizonte. This research will be done primarily at the School of Medicine of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in collaboration with Fernando Proietti and Waleska Caiaffa as an extension of NIH.

Public Health Relevance

Obesity has emerged as major health problem in Latin America. Although social and physical environments (including features of the neighborhoods where people live) have been hypothesized to contribute to obesity these factors remain understudied especially in countries of Latin America. This project will utilize data from a large survey to study the social and neighborhood determinants of obesity in a large city of Brazil.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDA-K (50))
Program Officer
Liu, Xingzhu
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
Zip Code
Christine, Paul J; Diez Roux, Ana V; Wing, Jeffrey J et al. (2015) Temporal trends in BMI in Argentina by socio-economic position and province-level economic development, 2005-2009. Public Health Nutr 18:817-26
Duran, Ana Clara; Diez Roux, Ana V; Latorre, Maria do Rosario D O et al. (2013) Neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and differences in the availability of healthy food stores and restaurants in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Health Place 23:39-47
Friche, Amelia Augusta de Lima; Diez-Roux, Ana V; Cesar, Cibele Comini et al. (2013) Assessing the psychometric and ecometric properties of neighborhood scales in developing countries: Saude em Beaga Study, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2008-2009. J Urban Health 90:246-61
Linetzky, Bruno; Mejia, Raul; Ferrante, Daniel et al. (2012) Socioeconomic status and tobacco consumption among adolescents: a multilevel analysis of Argentina's Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Nicotine Tob Res 14:1092-9
Fleischer, Nancy L; Diez Roux, Ana V; Hubbard, Alan E (2012) Inequalities in body mass index and smoking behavior in 70 countries: evidence for a social transition in chronic disease risk. Am J Epidemiol 175:167-76