Children who live in more walkable neighbourhoods have a smaller waist measurement and a lower BMI (body mass index). Those are the findings of a Montreal research team led by INRS professor Tracie A. Barnett. According to the results of the study published in Preventive Medicine by Adrian Ghenadenik (lead author) with Professor Barnett (senior contributing author), urban design is a factor in the development of childhood obesity. The study suggests that infrastructure designed to encourage walking can help reduce childhood obesity. Pedestrian-friendly amenities, such as pedestrian crossing lights, wider sidewalks, and signs to help pedestrians cross the road, are thought to have a greater impact in high-density neighbourhoods. Such features can also encourage children to ride bicycles, play outside, and engage in similar activities, all of which help them burn off energy.