Built environment and health behaviors among African Americans: a systematic review.
ABSTRACT An overall understanding of environmental factors that affect weight-related behaviors and outcomes in African American adults is limited. This article presents a summarization of the literature on the built environment and its association with physical activity, diet, and obesity among African Americans.
A systematic review was conducted by searching the PubMed electronic database from inception to July 31, 2007, reviewing bibliographies of eligible articles, and searching authors' personal databases using various search terms for the built environment, physical activity, diet, and obesity. Eligible articles were observational studies that included a study population >or=90% African American (or subgroup analysis), adults (>or=18 yrs), and were published in English; final article data abstraction occurred from October 2007 through February 2008.
A total of 2797 titles were identified from the initial search, and 90 were deemed eligible for abstract review. Of these, 17 articles were eligible for full review and ten met all eligibility criteria. The median sample size was 761 (234 to 10,623), and half of the articles included only African Americans. Light traffic, the presence of sidewalks, and safety from crime were more often positively associated with physical activity, although associations were not consistent (OR range = 0.53-2.43). Additionally, perceived barriers to physical activity were associated with obesity. The presence of supermarkets and specialty stores was consistently positively associated with meeting fruit and vegetable guidelines.
With relatively few studies in the literature focused on African Americans, more research is needed to draw conclusions on features of the built environment that are associated with physical activity, diet, and obesity.
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ABSTRACT: Ecological models of health behaviour are an important conceptual framework to address the multiple correlates of obesity. Several single-country studies previously examined the relationship between the built environment and obesity in adults, but results are very diverse. An important reason for these mixed results is the limited variability in built environments in these single-country studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine associations between perceived neighbourhood built environmental attributes and BMI/weight status in a multi-country study including 12 environmentally and culturally diverse countries. A multi-site cross-sectional study was conducted in 17 cities (study sites) across 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and USA). Participants (n = 14222, 18-66 years) self-reported perceived neighbourhood environmental attributes. Height and weight were self-reported in eight countries, and measured in person in four countries. Three environmental attributes were associated with BMI or weight status in pooled data from 12 countries. Safety from traffic was the most robust correlate, suggesting that creating safe routes for walking/cycling by reducing the speed and volume of traffic might have a positive impact upon weight status/BMI across various geographical locations. Close proximity to several local destinations was associated with BMI across all countries, suggesting compact neighbourhoods with more places to walk related to lower BMI. Safety from crime showed a curvilinear relationship with BMI, with especially poor crime safety being related to higher BMI. Environmental interventions involving these three attributes appear to have international relevance and focusing on these might have implications for tackling overweight/obesity.International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 05/2015; 12(1):62. DOI:10.1186/s12966-015-0228-y · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Over the last decade, there has been a marked increase in studies about built environments and physical activity. As the number of publications is growing rapidly, literature reviews play an important role in identifying primary studies and in synthesizing their findings. However, many of the reviews of effectiveness in this field demonstrate methodological limitations that might lead to inaccurate portrayals of the evidence. Some literature reviews a priori excluded intervention studies even though they provide the strongest level of evidence. The label 'systematic review' has mostly been used inappropriately. One of the major criteria of a systematic review that is hardly ever met is that the quality of the primary studies needs to be assessed and this should be reflected in the synthesis, presentation and interpretation of results. With few exceptions, 'systematic' reviews about environments and physical activity did not refer to or follow the QUORUM or PRISMA statements. This commentary points out the usefulness of the PRISMA statement to standardize the reporting of methodology of reviews and provides additional guidance to limit sources of bias in them. The findings and recommendations from this article can help in moving forward the synthesis of evidence of effectiveness not only in built environments and physical activity, but also more broadly in exercise science and public health.Sports Medicine 10/2014; 45(3). DOI:10.1007/s40279-014-0273-8 · 5.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Leisure-time physical activity in the United States is lower rural areas and the South and has been linked to socioeconomic and environmental aspects of where people live. The purpose of this study is to assess the built environment and policies for physical activity in rural communities.Preventive Medicine 06/2014; 66C:28-33. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.05.021 · 2.93 Impact Factor