Longitudinal and cross-sectional association of park access with weight status
Methods: We used data from Waves 1 and 2 of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (LAFANS), a multi-level, population-based survey of individuals living in Los Angeles County administered from 2000-2002 and 2006-2008, respectively. Data from the California Protected Areas Database was cross-referenced with 2001 land use data from the Southern California Association of Governments to identify park space. Multilevel regression models examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal association of park availability with Body Mass Index (BMI) adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity and household income and accounting for clustering at the census tract.
Results: In cross-sectional analyses four park access indicators were negatively associated with BMI. However, in longitudinal analyses, few associations were significant. Results were suggestive of a longitudinal association between park density in the census tract (number of parks per square mile) and BMI with increasing park density being associated with lower BMI at Wave 2 (p<0.07).
Conclusions: The current results suggest there may be inconsistencies between associations found in cross-sectional analyses and those found in longitudinal analyses. However, these results provide some evidence that increasing density of parks can contribute to reduced BMI over 6 years.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the health risks associated with obesity Identify factors associated with changes in BMI Discuss the relationship between access to parks and obesity
Keyword(s): Built Environment, Obesity
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. For the past twelve years I have directed research examining the social and environmental factors related to overweight and obesity, chronic health conditions, and health-related behaviors such as physical activity, and dietary behavior. I have served as PI or investigator on many research projects and am currently studying the impact of neighborhood environments on obesity and health.
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.