Examining The Association of Perceived Neighborhood Safety on BMI & Obesity In Adolescents Open Access

Patterson, Sierra (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3484zh982?locale=en


Childhood obesity is highly prevalent in the United States and is a growing public health concern. Some studies have investigated several features of the neighborhood social environment and their relation to obesity, but few have explored neighborhood crime and safety, particularly in adolescents. Using data collected from a prospective cohort study that follows a sample of parents and children from 20 large US cities, the association between perceived neighborhood safety and crime and obesity in adolescents was examined. Logistic regression analysis was used to gather unadjusted and adjusted associations between perceived neighborhood safety and crime and obesity. The adjusted analysis considered potential confounders such as race and ethnicity, poverty category, physical activity, and sex. Separate logistic regression analyses were conducted among males and females to examine the potential role of gender in modifying the relationship between neighborhood safety and crime and obesity. The results suggested that perceived neighborhood safety and crime was not associated with the prevalence of obesity, even after adjusting for multiple covariates. When examining males and females separately, perceived neighborhood safety during the day and night was not associated with the prevalence of obesity. However, in females there was a significant association between witnessing or knowing of a crime and obesity, but the same association was not seen for males. These findings are not completely consistent with earlier studies that have examined the relationship between the neighborhood social environment and obesity. Therefore, more research examining this association is needed to best identify ways to prevent childhood obesity.

Table of Contents

Background/Literature Review 1

Methods 4

Study Population 4

Measures 5

Statistical Analysis 6

Results 8

Discussion 11

Strengths and Limitations 13

Future Directions 14

References 15

Tables 18

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