155627 Examination of a Community Environment for Factors Promoting Healthy Children

Monday, November 5, 2007

Clifton C. Addison, PhD , Jackson Heart Study/Project Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Monique S. White, MPH, PhD , Project Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Brenda W. Jenkins, MPH , Jackson Heart Study/Project Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Lavon Young, MPH , Jackson Heart Study/Project Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Objective: The main objective of this study was to examine the impact of a community environment on the diet and physical fitness of children. Methods: A group of fathers who resided in a Middle/Upper class North Jackson, Mississippi neighborhood was surveyed about their perceptions of how healthy their community's environment was for their children. The survey was designed to identify the presence of community environmental factors that could help to improve or hinder the health status of their children. Results: Even though the school was located near a residential neighborhood giving children an opportunity to get exercise through walking or biking to school, 56.3% believed it was not safe for their children to walk or ride their bikes to school. Even though 81.3% of them believe that their children have access to healthy food at school, 62.5% said there were a lot of fast food restaurants close to the schools in their community, and these food outlets provided alternative unhealthy diets for their children. Air pollution was also seen as a major hazard to the children's health. Conclusion: As children grow into adolescence and then into adulthood, they face many risks. A healthy revamped community design can benefit children in many ways. Implementing environmental design solutions can help to reduce some of the health challenges of today. Parks, green spaces and schools are examples of how the built environment can influence our children's health.

This study was supported by Jackson State University's Project EXPORT, funded by NCMHD,(FP20MD000534-04)

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to understand the causal variables of obesity in children Participants will be able to appreciate the need for intervention in early childhood Participants will be able to evaluate the influence of family and community practices on children’s habits Participants will be able to recognize the obstacles to good health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.