Article

Inequality in the built environment underlies key health disparities in physical activity and obesity

Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 02/2006; 117(2):417-24. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-0058
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Environmental factors are suggested to play a major role in physical activity (PA) and other obesity-related behaviors, yet there is no national research on the relationship between disparity in access to recreational facilities and additional impact on PA and overweight patterns in US adolescents.
In a nationally representative cohort, we sought to assess the geographic and social distribution of PA facilities and how disparity in access might underlie population-level PA and overweight patterns.
Residential locations of US adolescents in wave I (1994-1995) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 20745) were geocoded, and a 8.05-km buffer around each residence was drawn (N = 42857 census-block groups [19% of US block groups]). PA facilities, measured by national databases and satellite data, were linked with Geographic Information Systems technology to each respondent. Logistic-regression analyses tested the relationship of PA-related facilities with block-group socioeconomic status (SES) (at the community level) and the subsequent association of facilities with overweight and PA (at the individual level), controlling for population density.
Outcome measures were overweight (BMI > or = 95th percentile of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics growth curves) and achievement of > or = 5 bouts per week of moderate-vigorous PA.
Higher-SES block groups had a significantly greater relative odds of having 1 or more facilities. Low-SES and high-minority block groups were less likely to have facilities. Relative to zero facilities per block group, an increasing number of facilities was associated with decreased overweight and increased relative odds of achieving > or = 5 bouts per week of moderate-vigorous PA.
Lower-SES and high-minority block groups had reduced access to facilities, which in turn was associated with decreased PA and increased overweight. Inequality in availability of PA facilities may contribute to ethnic and SES disparities in PA and overweight patterns.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Barry M Popkin, Jan 27, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
168 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity has been rising rapidly in the USA. The rate is higher among those at a lower socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minority groups. In Alabama, nearly half of the children from rural African American families are overweight or obese. Studies suggest that children's eating behaviours and weight could be influenced by surrounding food environments. The purpose of this paper is to assess the community food environment and examine the associations with childhood obesity in Alabama's Black Belt region.
    Child Care Health and Development 10/2014; DOI:10.1111/cch.12204 · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper empirically examines the effect of parents' and individuals' own socioeconomic status on overweight and obesity, and investigates how this effect changes over the life cycle. The impact of individuals' health behaviours on their obesity status later in life is also studied. We use data from Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands and the U.K. in which 4595 individuals aged 50-65 are surveyed and where individuals' height and weight at different ages (25, 35, 45 and current age) are available. We perform "repeated cross-sections" analyses as well as dynamic probit analyses of the individuals' obesity histories. We contribute to the literature by examining the role of a variety of obesity determinants over the whole life cycle, not only over a certain portion of individuals' lives. Key findings are: (i) parents' socioeconomic status predicts obesity in early adulthood whereas the individual's own socioeconomic status as adult is more important in explaining obesity at later stages of the life cycle, (ii) changes in obesity status are associated with changes in health behaviours, (iii) obesity in late adulthood is strongly and positively correlated with overweight and obesity in younger ages, and (iv) cross-country differences in obesity and overweight largely remain after controlling for parental and childhood factors and individuals' health behaviours.
    Economics & Human Biology 07/2014; 14:62-78. DOI:10.1016/j.ehb.2014.04.003 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An audit of recreation programs with moderate or higher levels of physical activity (PA) in Los Angeles area cities (N=82) was conducted using internet, telephone, and survey methods. Metabolic Equivalents (METs) were used to code programs׳ physical activity intensity. MET-hours per recreation program was associated with required age for enrollment, percent of residents >64 years of age, and fiscal capacity of cities. Capacity to promote energy expenditure may depend on targeted age groups, age of population, and municipal fiscal capacity. Cities with lower fiscal capacity might offer those higher MET-hour activities which require less specialized equipment and seek outside funding to offer higher MET programs.
    Health & Place 04/2014; 28C:67-72. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.03.008 · 2.44 Impact Factor