Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of mortality worldwide.
Environmental factors play an important role in development of risk factors. Hence, the study was
done to assess the neighborhood environmental factors related to NCDs in urban area.
METHODOLOGY: This community‑based cross‑sectional study was carried out among three selected
wards of urban Puducherry. All shops/establishments related to the risk of NCDs within the study
area were study units. Information regarding tobacco, alcohol, diet, and physical activity‑related
establishments was assessed using pretested semi‑structured pro forma. Shops/establishments were
labeled either as “favorable” (prevents the risk of NCDs) or “unfavorable” (increases the risk of NCDs).
RESULTS: Among 655 establishments, 372 (56.8%) belonged to favorable and 283 (43.2%)
to unfavorable category, respectively. Tobacco‑related establishments amount to 15.1% (95%
confidence interval: 12.6–18.1) of the total establishments. Among these tobacco establishments,
almost one‑third were selling tobacco to minor and located within 100 m of school. Fruits and vegetable
markets contributed to 21.8% of the total establishments. About 22% of the establishments were
fast‑food outlets. Public health sports facilities were only 6.8% of the total establishments.
CONCLUSION: The current study reported almost equal distribution of favorable and unfavorable
establishments. However, among unfavorable establishments, tobacco establishments raised
concern as one‑third of those were selling tobacco to minors. Healthy diet and physical activity related
establishments were also found to be less. Hence, corrective measures are to be implemented which
will reduce the burden of behavioral risk factors.


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