The influence of neighborhood safety and built environment on childhood obesity: isolated and combined effect of contextual factors

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Abstract

This study aims to analyze the isolated and combined effect of objective measures concerning neighborhood safety, food, and physical activity environments on students’ obesity. This is a cross-sectional study conducted with 9- and 10-year-old children enrolled in the municipal education network of a Brazilian metropolis. Environment objective measures comprised neighborhood unsafety (annual criminality and road traffic accident rates), availability of public parks and spaces for physical activity practicing, and index of establishments that predominantly sell ultra-processed food. Euclidean buffers of 1,000m around the children’s house were used as eligible geographic units. This study adopted the Principal Component Analysis and Generalized Estimation Equation models. Stratified analyses were conducted based on neighborhood unsafety and on child’s family income. In total, 717 students were assessed, 12.2% of them were children with obesity. The latent variable of the obesogenic environment (deduced by environment unsafety rates and the index of establishments that predominantly sell ultra-processed food) was a risk factor for obesity in children with lower socioeconomic levels (OR = 2.37; 95%CI: 1.06-5.19). Public parks and spaces for physical activity practicing were protective factors against childhood obesity only in locations recording the lowest environment unsafety rates (OR = 0.30; 95%CI: 0.09-0.94). Based on our findings, social conditions change the effect of the environment on childhood obesity, reinforcing the relevance of inter-sectoral policies and strategies against this condition.

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APA

do Carmo, A. S., Mendes, L. L., de Oliveira Cardoso, L., Caiaffa, W. T., & dos Santos, L. C. (2023). The influence of neighborhood safety and built environment on childhood obesity: isolated and combined effect of contextual factors. Cadernos de Saude Publica, 39(8). https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311XEN104822

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