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Neighborhood disadvantage and body mass index: a study of residential relocation

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-08-01, 00:00 authored by J N Rachele, A M Kavanagh, W J Brown, A M Healy, Gavin Turrell
Natural experiments, such as longitudinal observational studies that follow-up residents as they relocate, provide a strong basis to infer causation between the neighborhood environment and health. In this study, we examined whether changes in the level of neighborhood disadvantage were associated with changes in body mass index (BMI) after residential relocation. This analysis included data from 928 residents who relocated between 2007 and 2013, across 4 waves of the How Areas in Brisbane Influence Health and Activity (HABITAT) study in Brisbane, Australia. Neighborhood disadvantage was measured using a census-derived composite index. For individual-level data, participants selfreported their height, weight, education, occupation, and household income. Data were analyzed using multilevel, hybrid linear models. Women residing in less disadvantaged neighborhoods had a lower BMI, but therewas no association among men. Neighborhood disadvantage was not associated with within-individual changes in BMI among men or women when moving to a new neighborhood. Despite a growing body of literature suggesting an association between neighborhood disadvantage and BMI, we found this association may not be causal among middle-aged and older adults. Observing associations between neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and BMI over the life course, including the impact of residential relocation at younger ages, remains a priority for future research.

History

Journal

American journal of epidemiology

Volume

187

Issue

8

Pagination

1696 - 1703

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

0002-9262

eISSN

1476-6256

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, The Author(s)