Our Work

Moving to Health

This study explores the impact of changing residential environment on health outcomes. The study uses well-characterized longitudinal cohort of health care users, confined to well described geographic area of WA State. By attaching a geographic context to anonymized electronic medical records (EMR) for over 320,000 adults (30,000 with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)) and 90,000 children the study will examine longitudinal relationships between individual-level BE and changes in weight and glycemic control.

The project will afford novel “big data” linkages between each individuals’ geo-localized residential address, over 40 characteristics of BE, and rich, detailed clinical data from the EMR, allowing us the ability to examine body weight trajectories, glycemic control, and the incidence of obesity and T2D over a 12-year follow-up period. This 12-year natural experiment examining fast (residential moving) and slow (secular) changes in the BE for a very large cohort will provide unprecedented insights into the impact of different places on health.

The overarching goal of the proposed Moving to Health study is to provide population-based, comprehensive, rigorous evidence for policy makers, developers, and consumers regarding the features of the BE that are most strongly associated with risk of obesity and T2D.

Moving to Health from KP Washington Research on Vimeo.


Kaiser Permanente Institute of Health, Seattle


Adam Drewnowski

Project Coordinator

Shilpi Gupta

Project Team

Adam Drewnowski, PhD

Shilpi Gupta, PhD, MSc

James Buszkiewicz, MPH

Project Period


Project Status


Project Contact

Adam Drewnowski