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Seattle, WA, United States

Saelens B.E.,University of Washington | Sallis J.F.,University of California at San Diego | Frank L.D.,University of British Columbia | Couch S.C.,University of Cincinnati | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Identifying neighborhood environment attributes related to childhood obesity can inform environmental changes for obesity prevention. Purpose: To evaluate child and parent weight status across neighborhoods in King County (Seattle metropolitan area) and San Diego County differing in GIS-defined physical activity environment (PAE) and nutrition environment (NE) characteristics. Methods: Neighborhoods were selected to represent high (favorable) versus low (unfavorable) on the two measures, forming four neighborhood types (low on both measures, low PAE/high NE, high PAE/low NE, and highonboth measures). Weight and height of children aged 6-11 years and one parent (n=730) from selected neighborhoods were assessed in 2007-2009. Differences in child and parent overweight and obesity by neighborhood type were examined, adjusting for neighborhood-, family-, and individual-level demographics. Results: Children from neighborhoods high on both environment measures were less likely to be obese (7.7% vs 15.9%,OR=0.44, p=0.02) and marginally less likely to be overweight (23.7% vs 31.7%, OR=0.67, p=0.08) than children from neighborhoods low on both measures. In models adjusted for parent weight status and demographic factors, neighborhood environment type remained related to child obesity (high vs low on both measures, OR=0.41, p<0.03). Parents in neighborhoods high on both measures (versus low on both) were marginally less likely to be obese (20.1% vs 27.7%, OR=0.66, p=0.08), although parent overweight did not differ by neighborhood environment. The lower odds of parent obesity in neighborhoods with environments supportive of physical activity and healthy eating remained in models adjusted for demographics (high vs low on the environment measures, OR=0.57, p=0.053). Conclusions: Findings support the proposed GIS-based definitions of obesogenic neighborhoods for children and parents that consider both physical activity and nutrition environment features. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Cain K.L.,University of California | Millstein R.A.,San Diego State University | Sallis J.F.,University of California | Conway T.L.,University of California | And 8 more authors.
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

Ecological models of physical activity emphasize the effects of environmental influences. "Microscale" streetscape features that may affect pedestrian experience have received less research attention than macroscale walkability (e.g., residential density). The Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS) measures street design, transit stops, sidewalk qualities, street crossing amenities, and features impacting aesthetics. The present study examined associations of microscale attributes with multiple physical activity (PA) measures across four age groups. Areas in the San Diego, Seattle, and the Baltimore metropolitan areas, USA, were selected that varied on macro-level walkability and neighborhood income. Participants (n=3677) represented four age groups (children, adolescents, adults, older adults). MAPS audits were conducted along a 0.25 mile route along the street network from participant residences toward the nearest non-residential destination. MAPS data were collected in 2009-2010. Subscale and overall summary scores were created. Walking/biking for transportation and leisure/neighborhood PA were measured with age-appropriate surveys. Objective PA was measured with accelerometers. Mixed linear regression analyses were adjusted for macro-level walkability. Across all age groups 51.2%, 22.1%, and 15.7% of all MAPS scores were significantly associated with walking/biking for transport, leisure/neighborhood PA, and objectively-measured PA, respectively. Supporting the ecological model principle of behavioral specificity, destinations and land use, streetscape, street segment, and intersection variables were more related to transport walking/biking, while aesthetic variables were related to leisure/neighborhood PA. The overall score was related to objective PA in children and older adults. Present findings provide strong evidence that microscale environment attributes are related to PA across the lifespan. Improving microscale features may be a feasible approach to creating activity-friendly environments. © 2014 The Authors.

Giles-Corti B.,University of Western Australia | Wood G.,University of Western Australia | Pikora T.,University of Western Australia | Learnihan V.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2011

The impact of neighborhood walkability (based on street connectivity and traffic exposure) within 2 km of public primary schools on children regularly walking to school was examined. The most (n=13) and least walkable (n=12) schools were selected using a school-specific 'walkability' index and a cross sectional study undertaken of Year 5, 6 and 7 children (n=1480) and consenting parents (n=1332). After adjustment, regularly walking to school was higher in children attending schools in high walkable neighborhoods (i.e, high street connectivity and low traffic volume) (Odds ratio (OR) 3.63; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 2.01-6.56), and less likely in neighborhoods with high connectivity but high traffic volume (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.22-0.47). Connected street networks provide direct routes to school but when designed for heavy traffic, the potential for children to walk to school is reduced. This highlights the importance of carefully considering school siting and, particularly, street design in school neighborhoods. © 2010.

Kneeshaw-Price S.H.,Family Centered Care Services | Kneeshaw-Price S.H.,University of Washington | Saelens B.E.,University of Washington | Saelens B.E.,Seattle Childrens Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2015

Crime is both a societal safety and public health issue. Examining different measures and aspects of crime-related safety and their correlations may provide insight into the unclear relationship between crime and children’s physical activity. We evaluated five neighborhood crime-related safety measures to determine how they were interrelated. We then explored which crime-related safety measures were associated with children’s total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and MVPA in their neighborhoods. Significant positive correlations between observed neighborhood incivilities and parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder were found (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002), as were associations between parents’ perceptions of general crime and disorder and perceptions of stranger danger (r = 0.30, p = 0.0002). Parent report of prior crime victimization in their neighborhood was associated with observed neighborhood incivilities (r = 0.22, p = 0.007) and their perceptions of both stranger danger (r = 0.24, p = 0.003) and general crime and disorder (r = 0.37, p < 0.0001). After accounting for covariates, police-reported crime within the census block group in which children lived was associated with less physical activity, both total and in their neighborhood (beta = −0.09, p = 0.005, beta = −0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Neighborhood-active children living in the lowest crime-quartile neighborhoods based on police reports had 40 min more of total MVPA on average compared to neighborhood-active children living in the highest crime-quartile neighborhoods. Findings suggest that police reports of neighborhood crime may be contributing to lower children’s physical activity. © 2015, The New York Academy of Medicine.

Ewing R.,University of Utah | Greenwald M.,Lane Council of Governments | Greenwald M.,Urban Design 4 Health Inc. | Zhang M.,University of Texas at Austin | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Urban Planning and Development | Year: 2011

Current methods of traffic impact analysis, which rely on rates and adjustments from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, are believed to understate the traffic benefits of mixed-use developments (MXDs), leading to higher exactions and development fees than necessary and discouraging otherwise desirable developments. The purpose of this study is to create new methodology for more accurately predicting the traffic impacts of MXDs. Standard protocols were used to identify and generate data sets for MXDs in six large and diverse metropolitan regions. Data from household travel surveys and geographic information system (GIS) databases were pooled for these MXDs, and travel and built environmental variables were consistently defined across regions. Hierarchical modeling was used to estimate models for internal capture of trips within MXDs, walking and transit use on external trips, and trip length for external automobile trips. MXDs with diverse activities on-site are shown to capture a large share of trips internally, reducing their traffic impacts relative to conventional suburban developments. Smaller MXDs in walkable areas with good transit access generate significant shares of walk and transit trips, thus also mitigating traffic impacts. Centrally located MXDs, small and large, generate shorter vehicle trips, which reduces their impacts relative to outlying developments. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.

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