262071 Impact of socioeconomic factors and neighborhood environments on health behaviors among Korean children

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yura Lee , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Ahyoung Song, MA , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Objectives:Health behaviors exhibited in childhood highly affect later health status in one's adulthood. While there are great amount of health disparity studies on children, there are only few studies investigating the influence of both socioeconomic factors and neighborhood environments on child health behaviors. The study aims to examine the effects of parental socioeconomic factors (family poverty, parent's education level, and mother's employment status) and physical/social neighborhood environments on dietary habits and physical activity of children in South Korea.

Methods:The study employed '2009 Comprehensive Survey of Korean Youth and Children' data and 1,176 respondents (age 12-14) were included using both multivariate and logistic regression analysis.

Results:Results showed that there is a significant relation between children's dietary habits and parental socioeconomic factors. Children from non-poor families (p<.05), whose parents completed higher education (p<.01), and whose mothers were not working (p<.01) had better dietary habits than their counterparts. Also, children in better physical environment (with gyms, community health centers, park or green areas) were more likely to be physically active (OR=1.21, p<.01). Children in better social environment (perception of neighborhood safety, crime rates, and trust among neighbors) were more likely to be physically active (= .06, p<.05) and to have better dietary habits (OR=.05, p<.05).

Conclusions:Findings suggest health promoting solutions for children from disadvantaged neighborhood environments or those from poor and/or dual-working families.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the impact of parental socioeconomic factors and neighborhood environments on children's dietary habits and physical activity. Compare health behaviors of children from different socioeconomic families and/or neighborhood environments. Develop a health promoting program for children from disadvantaged neighborhood environments or those from poor and/or dual-working families.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in several government-funding projects for promoting child health behaviors in Korea as a researcher.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.