Overweight Children: Assessing the Contribution of the Built Environment

Irina Grafova, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Using the second wave of the Child Development Supplement (CDS-II) of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this paper examines the relationship between the built environment and overweight status in children. A number of built environment characteristics were examined: population density, alpha index of connectivity, urban design, pedestrian fatality from motor vehicle crashes, neighborhood physical disorder, restaurant density, and grocery store and convenience store densities. We find that higher convenience store density, presence of physical disorder in the neighborhood, and living in a newer neighborhood is associated with a higher probability of being overweight for children and adolescents. We also find evidence suggesting that residential mobility may play a role in determining children’s exposure to neighborhoods of different types. However, we did not find evidence suggesting that the probability of moving or the type of neighborhood moved into varied between overweight and non-overweight children.

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Presented in Session 98: Neighborhood Processes