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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 127857, 6 pages
Research Article

Associations between Safety from Crime, Cycling, and Obesity in a Dutch Elderly Population: Results from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam

1Department of Health Promotion, School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
2Amsterdam School of Communication Research, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3Research Centre for the Prevention of Overweight, VU-Windesheim, 8000 GB Zwolle, The Netherlands
4EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
6Department of Public and Occupational Health and EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 8 September 2011; Revised 16 December 2011; Accepted 17 December 2011

Academic Editor: Rodrigo Siqueira Reis

Copyright © 2012 Stef P. J. Kremers et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate differences in associations between crime rates, cycling, and weight status between people living in low and high socioeconomic status (SES) neighbourhoods. In total, 470 participants in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were included (age: 63–70 y). Body height and weight were measured using a stadiometer and calibrated weight scale, respectively. Cycling behaviour was assessed in a face-to-face interview, and neighbourhood crime rates were assessed using data from police reports. Men residing in high SES neighbourhoods cycled more than males residing in low SES neighbourhoods. Cycling was negatively related to crime rates among both men and women living in low SES neighbourhoods. Among men living in low SES neighbourhoods, more cycling was associated with lower BMI. Interventions aiming to prevent obesity in older people may consider aiming at increasing bicycle use in lower SES neighbourhoods, but neighbourhood safety issues should be considered.