Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods

Date:
November 12, 2012
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Children living in poorer neighborhoods are nearly 30 percent more likely to be obese than children in more affluent residences, according to a new study.

Children living in poorer neighborhoods are nearly 30 percent more likely to be obese than children in more affluent residences, according to a new study from Rice University.

Related Articles


The study by Rice sociologists Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research's Urban Health Program, and Justin Denney, associate director of the program, reveals that living in neighborhoods with higher levels of poverty and lower levels of education is associated with increased child obesity risk, regardless of family composition or other individual factors. The research also showed that living in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of foreign-born residents is associated with reduced child obesity risk.

The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of Social Science & Medicine.

The researchers based their conclusions on a comparison of 17,530 5-year-old children living in approximately 4,700 neighborhoods nationwide. They found that children in poorer neighborhoods have 28 percent higher odds of developing obesity, and those in middle-class neighborhoods have 17 percent higher odds, compared to children living in affluent neighborhoods; these statistics take into account such factors as household socioeconomic status, maternal education and how much television the child watches. The researchers also found that children living in neighborhoods with a high proportion of foreign-born residents had approximately 20 percent lower odds of obesity.

Childhood obesity is a significant public health issue, with 31.7 percent of children ages 2-19 overweight or obese, and there is much to be learned about how communities influence the epidemic, Denney said.

"We know there are characteristics specific to families and individual children that are associated with obesity," he said. "Those relationships are pretty well understood at this point, but less well understood are community influences, such as the social and demographic characteristics of the places people live. Neighborhood poverty is associated with childhood obesity above and beyond the poverty status of the child's family and other individual and family characteristics. This tells us there is something about the community that is also influencing childhood obesity."

Kimbro said that while it's clear that neighborhood characteristics matter for obesity risks, policies have not been as concerned with this information or efforts to alleviate the epidemic that's "grabbing hold of kids in this country."

"There are literally thousands of funded individual-level interventions in childhood obesity being tested right now," Kimbro said. "We believe they are well-meaning but possibly misdirected."

Kimbro hopes this study will encourage exploration of neighborhood programs to address risk factors for childhood obesity.

"There have to be individual-level interventions, but this paper shows that there is something going on at the community level that's clearly very important to address," she said.

The study, "Neighborhood Context and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Young Children's Obesity: Structural Barriers to Interventions," was funded by Rice University and the Kinder Institute's Urban Health Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. The original article was written by Amy Hodges. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135646.htm>.
Rice University. (2012, November 12). Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135646.htm
Rice University. "Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112135646.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins