SAN FRANCISCO: In a novel method, researchers have used Artificial intelligence (AI) technology that scanned through Google Maps images to estimate on Earth — even without actually spotting obese people.

The team lead by researchers from University of Washington, Seattle, downloaded nearly 150,000 high-resolution Google Map satellite images of select neighbourhoods in four cities – Los Angeles (California); Memphis (Tennessee); San Antonio (Texas) and Seattle (Washington State).

Data on adult obesity prevalence were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s “500 Cities” project, said the study appeared in the journal JAMA Network Open on Sunday.

The team then fed these images into a convolutional deep learning neural network – aka AI — that extracted features of the built environment – the distribution of buildings and green area.

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The life you lead and the food you eat are two important factors when it comes to diabetes. Both play a role for those who are already battling it and for those who remain vulnerable to it. Whole foods that are not processed should always be on the menu. But also remember that some items have to be away from the dining table if you want to steer clear of diabetes. Additionally, avoid special diets and stick to what you make at home. Just follow the basic rules like keeping a constant calorie count during meals.

“The extraction of built environment showed that physical characteristics of a neighbourhood (presence of parks, highways, green streets, crosswalks, diverse housing types) can be associated with variations in obesity prevalence across different neighbourhoods,” the researchers wrote.

Obesity has been linked to factors such as genetics, diet, physical activity and the environment.

However, evidence indicating associations between the built environment and obesity has varied across studies and geographical contexts.

The study illustrates that convolutional neural networks can be used to automate the extraction of features of the built environment from satellite images for studying health indicators.

“Understanding the association between specific features of the built environment and obesity prevalence can lead to structural changes that could encourage physical activity and decreases in obesity prevalence,” said the researchers.

Behavioural traits that encourage unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle have been associated with features in the social and built environment.

The built environment can influence health through the availability of resources, such as housing, activity and recreational spaces, and measures of community design, the findings showed.

According to the researchers, assessing an area’s obesity rates may help city planners develop more green areas to help people remain more physically active.

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Me Before You

A selfless mother, an affectionate daughter, a dutiful wife or top boss; no matter what role a woman plays in everyday life, she does so with utmost passion. From managing the house to being running the show at work, and yet taking out time to spend quality moments with family and friends, women manage to do it all. But in all the hustle, they often forget themselves. Making yourself a priority is not at the top of their list, and health gets taken for granted. However, it is extremely important to care for the self as for others, and to start taking care of your health. Dolly Kumar, Founder & Director at Gaia, shares 5 tips for women to stay healthy.

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