- Centers and Programs
Walkable communities and adolescent weight
Background: Neighborhood design features have been associated with health outcomes, including the prevalence of obesity. Purpose: This study examined the association between walkability and adolescent weight in a national sample of public secondary school students and the communities in which they live. Methods: Data were collected through student surveys and community observations between February and August 2010, and analyses were conducted in Spring 2012. The sample size was 154 communities and 11,041 students. A community walkability index and measures of the prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity were constructed. Multivariable analyses from a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade public school students in the U.S. were run. Results: The odds of students being overweight (AOR 0.98, 95% CI=0.95, 0.99) or obese (AOR=0.97, 95% CI=0.95, 0.99) decreased if they lived in communities with higher walkability index scores. Conclusions: Results suggest that living in more-walkable communities is associated with reduced prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity.