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Childhood obesity and community food environments in Alabama's Black Belt region.
Child Care Health Dev 2015; 41(5):668-76CC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Childhood obesity has been rising rapidly in the USA. The rate is higher among those at a lower socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minority groups. In Alabama, nearly half of the children from rural African American families are overweight or obese. Studies suggest that children's eating behaviours and weight could be influenced by surrounding food environments. The purpose of this paper is to assess the community food environment and examine the associations with childhood obesity in Alabama's Black Belt region.

METHODS

This research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Weight status of 613 African American students in four elementary schools in a rural county of Alabama was assessed. We examined community food environments around children's home through GIS (Geographic Information System) and statistical methods. The interrelations between children's weight and community food environments are explored with multi-level models.

RESULTS

Approximately 42.1% of surveyed children were overweight or obese, much higher than the national average, 30.6%. In Model 1, convenience stores (3.44; P < 0.01), full service restaurants (8.99; P < 0.01) and supermarkets (-37.69; P < 0.01) were significantly associated with the percentile of body mass index. Fast food stores (-0.93; P = 0.88) were not related to children's weight. In Model 2, the additions of sociodemographic factors and school effects cause significant changes of the relationships between children's weight and four types of food outlets. The percentage of African American population (90.23, P < 0.01) and school (6.68, P < 0.01) were positively associated with children's weight; while median household income (-39.6; P < 0.01) was negatively related to it.

CONCLUSION

Children's weight is influenced by community food environments, sociodemographic factors and school context. Findings suggest that policymakers and planners need to improve community food environments of low-income minority communities. Parents and schools should pay more attention to reduce the negative impacts of food environments on children.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Geology and Geography, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA.School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.Department of Geology and Geography, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA.Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25324035

Citation

Li, Y, et al. "Childhood Obesity and Community Food Environments in Alabama's Black Belt Region." Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 41, no. 5, 2015, pp. 668-76.
Li Y, Robinson LE, Carter WM, et al. Childhood obesity and community food environments in Alabama's Black Belt region. Child Care Health Dev. 2015;41(5):668-76.
Li, Y., Robinson, L. E., Carter, W. M., & Gupta, R. (2015). Childhood obesity and community food environments in Alabama's Black Belt region. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(5), pp. 668-76. doi:10.1111/cch.12204.
Li Y, et al. Childhood Obesity and Community Food Environments in Alabama's Black Belt Region. Child Care Health Dev. 2015;41(5):668-76. PubMed PMID: 25324035.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Childhood obesity and community food environments in Alabama's Black Belt region. AU - Li,Y, AU - Robinson,L E, AU - Carter,W M, AU - Gupta,R, Y1 - 2014/10/16/ PY - 2014/09/01/accepted PY - 2014/10/18/entrez PY - 2014/10/18/pubmed PY - 2016/6/9/medline KW - Black Belt region KW - childhood obesity KW - community food environments KW - mixed methods SP - 668 EP - 76 JF - Child: care, health and development JO - Child Care Health Dev VL - 41 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity has been rising rapidly in the USA. The rate is higher among those at a lower socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minority groups. In Alabama, nearly half of the children from rural African American families are overweight or obese. Studies suggest that children's eating behaviours and weight could be influenced by surrounding food environments. The purpose of this paper is to assess the community food environment and examine the associations with childhood obesity in Alabama's Black Belt region. METHODS: This research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Weight status of 613 African American students in four elementary schools in a rural county of Alabama was assessed. We examined community food environments around children's home through GIS (Geographic Information System) and statistical methods. The interrelations between children's weight and community food environments are explored with multi-level models. RESULTS: Approximately 42.1% of surveyed children were overweight or obese, much higher than the national average, 30.6%. In Model 1, convenience stores (3.44; P < 0.01), full service restaurants (8.99; P < 0.01) and supermarkets (-37.69; P < 0.01) were significantly associated with the percentile of body mass index. Fast food stores (-0.93; P = 0.88) were not related to children's weight. In Model 2, the additions of sociodemographic factors and school effects cause significant changes of the relationships between children's weight and four types of food outlets. The percentage of African American population (90.23, P < 0.01) and school (6.68, P < 0.01) were positively associated with children's weight; while median household income (-39.6; P < 0.01) was negatively related to it. CONCLUSION: Children's weight is influenced by community food environments, sociodemographic factors and school context. Findings suggest that policymakers and planners need to improve community food environments of low-income minority communities. Parents and schools should pay more attention to reduce the negative impacts of food environments on children. SN - 1365-2214 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25324035/Childhood_obesity_and_community_food_environments_in_Alabama's_Black_Belt_region_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12204 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -