Neighborhood safety and overweight status in children

Julie C. Lumeng, Danielle Appugliese, Howard J. Cabral, Robert Bradley, Barry Zuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

155 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine if there is a relationship between parental perception of neighborhood safety and overweight at the age of 7 years. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Setting: Ten urban and rural US sites. Participants: A total of 768 children selected via conditional random sampling with complete data at follow-up. Main Outcome Measures: Parents reported demographics and perception of neighborhood safety by standardized questionnaire. Child overweight status was defined as a body mass index greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for age and sex from measured anthropometrics at the age of 7 years. The base model included relationship of the safety reporter to the child, sex, and baseline body mass index z score at the age of 4.5 years. Covariates tested included maternal marital status, education, and depressive symptoms; child race/ethnicity; participation in structured after-school activities; Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment total score; and neighborhood social cohesiveness. Results: The sample was 85% white, and 10% of the children were overweight. Neighborhood safety ratings in the lowest quartile were independently associated with a higher risk of overweight at the age of 7 years compared with safety ratings in the highest quartile (adjusted odds ratio, 4.43; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-9.65). None of the candidate covariates altered the relationship between perception of neighborhood safety and child overweight status. Conclusions: Perception of the neighborhood as less safe was independently associated with an increased risk of overweight at the age of 7 years. Public health efforts may benefit from policies directed toward improving both actual and perceived neighborhood safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume160
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

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Safety
Body Mass Index
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.)
Marital Status
Child Care
Public Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Parents
Odds Ratio
Mothers
Observation
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Confidence Intervals
Depression
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Neighborhood safety and overweight status in children. / Lumeng, Julie C.; Appugliese, Danielle; Cabral, Howard J.; Bradley, Robert; Zuckerman, Barry.

In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 160, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 25-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lumeng, Julie C. ; Appugliese, Danielle ; Cabral, Howard J. ; Bradley, Robert ; Zuckerman, Barry. / Neighborhood safety and overweight status in children. In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 ; Vol. 160, No. 1. pp. 25-31.
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