By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The more we study obesity and health issues, the more we are learning that where you live can have a direct impact on how you look at how you feel.

We’ve known for quite some time that your environment, one of the key social determinants of health, can impact your risk of becoming obese.

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For instance, if you live in an area where there is limited access to fruits vegetables and healthy foods, or if you have limited income and cannot afford these foods and are forced to eat a fast food diet, you are more likely to suffer from obesity.

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Now there is a report in the journal “Viral Lancet Public Health” that says people who live in neighborhoods which are close to fast food restaurants tend to be more obese than people who live in neighborhoods that are close to health clubs.

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In this case, the study of over 500,000 people found that, independent of income, location also can impact health.