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Perceptions of local neighbourhood environments and their relationship to childhood overweight and obesity
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 authored by Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Amanda Telford, David CrawfordDavid Crawford
OBJECTIVES: To examine associations between parent and child perceptions of the local neighbourhood and overweight/obesity among children aged 5–6 and 10–12 y. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SUBJECTS: In total, 291 families of 5–6-y-old and 919 families of 10–12-y-old children. MEASURES: Parent's perceptions of local neighbourhood and perceived child access to eight local destinations within walking distance of home; 10–12-y-old children's perception of local neighbourhood; socio-demographic characteristics (survey). Children's height and weight (measured). RESULTS: No perceptions of the local neighbourhood were associated with weight status among 5–6-y-old children. Among 10–12-y-old children, those whose parents agreed that there was heavy traffic in their local streets were more likely to be overweight or obese (OR=1.4, 95% CI=1.0–1.8), and those whose parents agreed that road safety was a concern were more likely to be obese (OR=3.9, 95% CI=1.0–15.2), compared to those whose parents disagreed with these statements. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that parental perceptions of heavy traffic on local streets and concern about road safety may be indirect influences on overweight and obesity among 10–12-y-old children. Future work should also consider perceptions of the neighbourhood related to food choice.