Built Environment and Health Behaviors Among African Americans. A Systematic Review

Sarah Stark Casagrande, Melicia C. Whitt-Glover, Kristie Lancaster, Angela M. Odoms-Young, Tiffany L. Gary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: An overall understanding of environmental factors that affect weight-related behaviors and outcomes in African American adults is limited. This article presents a summarization of the literature on the built environment and its association with physical activity, diet, and obesity among African Americans. Evidence acquisition: A systematic review was conducted by searching the PubMed electronic database from inception to July 31, 2007, reviewing bibliographies of eligible articles, and searching authors' personal databases using various search terms for the built environment, physical activity, diet, and obesity. Eligible articles were observational studies that included a study population ≥90% African American (or subgroup analysis), adults (≥18 yrs), and were published in English; final article data abstraction occurred from October 2007 through February 2008. Evidence synthesis: A total of 2797 titles were identified from the initial search, and 90 were deemed eligible for abstract review. Of these, 17 articles were eligible for full review and ten met all eligibility criteria. The median sample size was 761 (234 to 10,623), and half of the articles included only African Americans. Light traffic, the presence of sidewalks, and safety from crime were more often positively associated with physical activity, although associations were not consistent (OR range = 0.53-2.43). Additionally, perceived barriers to physical activity were associated with obesity. The presence of supermarkets and specialty stores was consistently positively associated with meeting fruit and vegetable guidelines. Conclusions: With relatively few studies in the literature focused on African Americans, more research is needed to draw conclusions on features of the built environment that are associated with physical activity, diet, and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

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Health Behavior
African Americans
Exercise
Obesity
Diet
Databases
Bibliography
Crime
PubMed
Vegetables
Sample Size
Observational Studies
Fruit
Guidelines
Safety
Weights and Measures
Research
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Built Environment and Health Behaviors Among African Americans. A Systematic Review. / Casagrande, Sarah Stark; Whitt-Glover, Melicia C.; Lancaster, Kristie; Odoms-Young, Angela M.; Gary, Tiffany L.

In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 2, 02.2009, p. 174-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Casagrande, Sarah Stark ; Whitt-Glover, Melicia C. ; Lancaster, Kristie ; Odoms-Young, Angela M. ; Gary, Tiffany L. / Built Environment and Health Behaviors Among African Americans. A Systematic Review. In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009 ; Vol. 36, No. 2. pp. 174-181.
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