Lower-income neighborhoods associated with higher obesity rates

Feb 07, 2008

Obesity prevalence has increased significantly among adults and children in the U.S. over the last two decades. A new study appearing in the journal Nutrition Reviews reveals that characteristics of neighborhoods, including the area’s income level, the built environment, and access to healthy food, contribute to the continuing obesity epidemic.

Researchers led by Jennifer L. Black of New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health critically reviewed ninety studies published between 1997 through 2007 on neighborhood determinants of obesity through the PubMed and PsychInfo databases.

They found that neighborhoods with decreased economic and social resources have higher rates of obesity. They also found that residents in low-income urban areas are more likely to report greater neighborhood barriers to physical activity, such as limited opportunities for daily walking or physical activity and reduced access to stores that sell healthy foods, especially large supermarkets.

In order to organize the different approaches to assessing neighborhood-level determinants of obesity, the authors present a conceptual framework. The framework is intended to guide future inquiry by describing pathways through which neighborhoods might influence body weight.

Consisting of three inter-related layers, the framework includes the influence of social factors, access to quality food and exercise, and individual factors including behavioral intentions. Each level has indirect and direct influences on behavioral choices and may ultimately impact weight.

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: Data mining study identifies Twitter as lifeline for people with Coeliac Disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Foragers find bounty of edibles in urban food deserts

Nov 18, 2014

With the gusto of wine enthusiasts in a tasting room, UC Berkeley professors Philip Stark and Tom Carlson eye, sniff and sample their selections, pronouncing them "robust," "lovely," "voluptuous"—and even ...

Obesity linked to income, education; not sprawl

Feb 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Obesity is more prevalent in areas with lower educational attainment and certain ethnic profiles than in areas of suburban sprawl, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Revolution in Mexico City, one lettuce at a time

Nov 15, 2012

A green revolution is sweeping across the car and concrete jungle of Mexico City, an infamously smoggy capital that was once dubbed "Makesicko City" by novelist Carlos Fuentes.

Recommended for you

Health care organizations see value of telemedicine

49 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Health care organizations are developing and implementing telemedicine programs, although many have yet to receive reimbursement, according to a report published by Foley & Lardner.

Before you go... are you in denial about death?

7 hours ago

For most of us, death conjures up strong feelings. We project all kinds of fears onto it. We worry about it, dismiss it, laugh it off, push it aside or don't think about it at all. Until we have to. Of course, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.