Physical activity resource attributes and obesity in low-income african americans

Kristen M. McAlexander, Jorge A. Banda, Joshua W. McAlexander, Rebecca E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


More than two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and African Americans are particularly vulnerable to obesity when compared to Caucasians. Ecological models of health suggest that lower individual and environmental socioeconomic status and the built environment may be related to health attitudes and behaviors that contribute to obesity. This cross-sectional study measured the direct associations of neighborhood physical activity resource attributes with body mass index (BMI) and body fat among low-income 216 African Americans (Mean (M) age∈=∈43.5 years, 63.9% female) residing in 12 public housing developments. The Physical Activity Resource Assessment instrument measured accessibility, incivilities, and the quality of features and amenities of each physical activity resource within an 800-m radius around each housing development. Sidewalk connectivity was measured using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan instrument. Ecological multivariate regression models analyzed the associations between the built environment attributes and resident BMI and body fat at the neighborhood level. Sidewalk connectivity was associated with BMI (M∈=∈31.3 kg/m2; p∈<∈0.05). Sidewalk connectivity and resource accessibility were associated with body fat percentage (M∈=∈34.8%, p∈<∈0.05). Physical activity resource attributes and neighborhood sidewalk connectivity were related to BMI and body fat among low-income African Americans living in housing developments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-707
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • BMI
  • Built environment
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity resources (PARs)
  • Public housing
  • SES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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