A research project in Australia is looking at the role of town and city planners in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The study taking place in Sydney is exploring how developments considered high-density, with lots of people living in the same area, could be designed to improve people’s health.
As well as type 2 diabetes, they believe changing the way plans are drawn up for urban environments could also reduce heart disease and mental illness.
The project, named Translating Evidence to Support Planning Strategies for Healthier, Higher Density Living, is designed to provide new intelligence to “address a significant gap in planning healthy higher density precincts”.
Professor Susan Thompson, from the University of Sydney, said: “We know that the way we live in cities has an enormous impact on our health. The more we can incorporate being active and socially connected into the environments we encounter and use every day, we reduce our risk for chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression.”
Poor social and economic status can have an impact upon type 2 diabetes risk, and this two-and-a-half year study will focus on improving housing affordability and providing social and economic benefits to people in New South Wales.
“There is a lack of research in Australia and around the world on what is needed to ensure people can live healthy, sustainable lives in an increasingly urbanised environment. There are a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to. This research will help us learn how we can design our cities to benefit people’s health,” added Dr Thompson.
The project is being carried out by the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney and the New South Wales government’s land and property development organisation called Landcom.
Editor’s note: Eating a healthy diet low in carbohydrate has been shown to improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes, in some cases helping to put the condition into remission. Budget need not be a worry either; our Low Carb Program provides advice on eating healthily within your financial means.

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