Association between neighborhood safety and overweight status among urban adolescents

Dustin Duncan, Renee M. Johnson, Beth E. Molnar, Deborah Azrael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Neighborhood safety may be an important social environmental determinant of overweight. We examined the relationship between perceived neighborhood safety and overweight status, and assessed the validity of reported neighborhood safety among a representative community sample of urban adolescents (who were racially and ethnically diverse). Methods. Data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, a cross-sectional study in which public high school students in Boston, MA completed a pencil-and-paper survey. The study used a two-stage, stratified sampling design whereby schools and then 9 th-12thgrade classrooms within schools were selected (the analytic sample included 1,140 students). Students reported their perceptions of neighborhood safety and several associated dimensions. With self-reported height and weight data, we computed body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) for the adolescents based on CDC growth charts. Chi-square statistics and corresponding p-values were computed to compare perceived neighborhood safety by the several associated dimensions. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and the prevalence of overweight status controlling for relevant covariates and school site. Results. More than one-third (35.6%) of students said they always felt safe in their neighborhood, 43.9% said they sometimes felt safe, 11.6% rarely felt safe, and 8.9% never felt safe. Those students who reported that they rarely or never feel safe in their neighborhoods were more likely than those who said they always or sometimes feel safe to believe that gang violence was a serious problem in their neighborhood or school (68.0% vs. 44.1%, p < 0.001), and to have seen someone in their neighborhood assaulted with a weapon (other than a firearm) in the past 12 months (17.8% vs. 11.3%, p = 0.025). In the fully adjusted model (including grade and school) stratified by race/ethnicity, we found a statistically significant association between feeling unsafe in one's own neighborhood and overweight status among those in the Other race/ethnicity group [(PR = 1.56, (95% CI: 1.02, 2.40)]. Conclusion. Data suggest that perception of neighborhood safety may be associated with overweight status among urban adolescents in certain racial/ethnic groups. Policies and programs to address neighborhood safety may also be preventive for adolescent overweight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number289
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Safety
Students
Growth Charts
Confidence Intervals
Weapons
Firearms
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Ethnic Groups
Violence
Emotions
Body Mass Index
Cross-Sectional Studies
Weights and Measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Association between neighborhood safety and overweight status among urban adolescents. / Duncan, Dustin; Johnson, Renee M.; Molnar, Beth E.; Azrael, Deborah.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 9, 289, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Duncan, Dustin ; Johnson, Renee M. ; Molnar, Beth E. ; Azrael, Deborah. / Association between neighborhood safety and overweight status among urban adolescents. In: BMC Public Health. 2009 ; Vol. 9.
@article{03782c0fd49b4549b522e873de481c4d,
title = "Association between neighborhood safety and overweight status among urban adolescents",
abstract = "Background. Neighborhood safety may be an important social environmental determinant of overweight. We examined the relationship between perceived neighborhood safety and overweight status, and assessed the validity of reported neighborhood safety among a representative community sample of urban adolescents (who were racially and ethnically diverse). Methods. Data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, a cross-sectional study in which public high school students in Boston, MA completed a pencil-and-paper survey. The study used a two-stage, stratified sampling design whereby schools and then 9 th-12thgrade classrooms within schools were selected (the analytic sample included 1,140 students). Students reported their perceptions of neighborhood safety and several associated dimensions. With self-reported height and weight data, we computed body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) for the adolescents based on CDC growth charts. Chi-square statistics and corresponding p-values were computed to compare perceived neighborhood safety by the several associated dimensions. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95{\%} confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and the prevalence of overweight status controlling for relevant covariates and school site. Results. More than one-third (35.6{\%}) of students said they always felt safe in their neighborhood, 43.9{\%} said they sometimes felt safe, 11.6{\%} rarely felt safe, and 8.9{\%} never felt safe. Those students who reported that they rarely or never feel safe in their neighborhoods were more likely than those who said they always or sometimes feel safe to believe that gang violence was a serious problem in their neighborhood or school (68.0{\%} vs. 44.1{\%}, p < 0.001), and to have seen someone in their neighborhood assaulted with a weapon (other than a firearm) in the past 12 months (17.8{\%} vs. 11.3{\%}, p = 0.025). In the fully adjusted model (including grade and school) stratified by race/ethnicity, we found a statistically significant association between feeling unsafe in one's own neighborhood and overweight status among those in the Other race/ethnicity group [(PR = 1.56, (95{\%} CI: 1.02, 2.40)]. Conclusion. Data suggest that perception of neighborhood safety may be associated with overweight status among urban adolescents in certain racial/ethnic groups. Policies and programs to address neighborhood safety may also be preventive for adolescent overweight.",
author = "Dustin Duncan and Johnson, {Renee M.} and Molnar, {Beth E.} and Deborah Azrael",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2458-9-289",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
journal = "BMC Public Health",
issn = "1471-2458",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Association between neighborhood safety and overweight status among urban adolescents

AU - Duncan, Dustin

AU - Johnson, Renee M.

AU - Molnar, Beth E.

AU - Azrael, Deborah

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Background. Neighborhood safety may be an important social environmental determinant of overweight. We examined the relationship between perceived neighborhood safety and overweight status, and assessed the validity of reported neighborhood safety among a representative community sample of urban adolescents (who were racially and ethnically diverse). Methods. Data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, a cross-sectional study in which public high school students in Boston, MA completed a pencil-and-paper survey. The study used a two-stage, stratified sampling design whereby schools and then 9 th-12thgrade classrooms within schools were selected (the analytic sample included 1,140 students). Students reported their perceptions of neighborhood safety and several associated dimensions. With self-reported height and weight data, we computed body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) for the adolescents based on CDC growth charts. Chi-square statistics and corresponding p-values were computed to compare perceived neighborhood safety by the several associated dimensions. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and the prevalence of overweight status controlling for relevant covariates and school site. Results. More than one-third (35.6%) of students said they always felt safe in their neighborhood, 43.9% said they sometimes felt safe, 11.6% rarely felt safe, and 8.9% never felt safe. Those students who reported that they rarely or never feel safe in their neighborhoods were more likely than those who said they always or sometimes feel safe to believe that gang violence was a serious problem in their neighborhood or school (68.0% vs. 44.1%, p < 0.001), and to have seen someone in their neighborhood assaulted with a weapon (other than a firearm) in the past 12 months (17.8% vs. 11.3%, p = 0.025). In the fully adjusted model (including grade and school) stratified by race/ethnicity, we found a statistically significant association between feeling unsafe in one's own neighborhood and overweight status among those in the Other race/ethnicity group [(PR = 1.56, (95% CI: 1.02, 2.40)]. Conclusion. Data suggest that perception of neighborhood safety may be associated with overweight status among urban adolescents in certain racial/ethnic groups. Policies and programs to address neighborhood safety may also be preventive for adolescent overweight.

AB - Background. Neighborhood safety may be an important social environmental determinant of overweight. We examined the relationship between perceived neighborhood safety and overweight status, and assessed the validity of reported neighborhood safety among a representative community sample of urban adolescents (who were racially and ethnically diverse). Methods. Data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, a cross-sectional study in which public high school students in Boston, MA completed a pencil-and-paper survey. The study used a two-stage, stratified sampling design whereby schools and then 9 th-12thgrade classrooms within schools were selected (the analytic sample included 1,140 students). Students reported their perceptions of neighborhood safety and several associated dimensions. With self-reported height and weight data, we computed body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) for the adolescents based on CDC growth charts. Chi-square statistics and corresponding p-values were computed to compare perceived neighborhood safety by the several associated dimensions. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and the prevalence of overweight status controlling for relevant covariates and school site. Results. More than one-third (35.6%) of students said they always felt safe in their neighborhood, 43.9% said they sometimes felt safe, 11.6% rarely felt safe, and 8.9% never felt safe. Those students who reported that they rarely or never feel safe in their neighborhoods were more likely than those who said they always or sometimes feel safe to believe that gang violence was a serious problem in their neighborhood or school (68.0% vs. 44.1%, p < 0.001), and to have seen someone in their neighborhood assaulted with a weapon (other than a firearm) in the past 12 months (17.8% vs. 11.3%, p = 0.025). In the fully adjusted model (including grade and school) stratified by race/ethnicity, we found a statistically significant association between feeling unsafe in one's own neighborhood and overweight status among those in the Other race/ethnicity group [(PR = 1.56, (95% CI: 1.02, 2.40)]. Conclusion. Data suggest that perception of neighborhood safety may be associated with overweight status among urban adolescents in certain racial/ethnic groups. Policies and programs to address neighborhood safety may also be preventive for adolescent overweight.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69549090333&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=69549090333&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/1471-2458-9-289

DO - 10.1186/1471-2458-9-289

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - BMC Public Health

JF - BMC Public Health

SN - 1471-2458

M1 - 289

ER -