Residents' Neighborhood Perceptions and their Relation to Health Behaviors and General Health: Evidence from a Micropolitan Community in Iowa
The UI Prevention Research Center and partners conducted a random-digit dialed phone survey in 2013 that assessed demographics, health behaviors, general health, and neighborhood perceptions (social cohesion, aesthetics, safety, walkability, food environment, violence). Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted. Regression models were adjusted for covariates (α=0.05).
Half of the sample met PA recommendations and 45% reported excellent or very good health. On average, 3 servings of fruits and vegetables (F/V) were consumed per day and 77.6% consumed fast food. Increased fast food consumption was associated with a worse perceived food environment and more perceived neighborhood violence. Increased F/V consumption and more PA were both associated with a better perception of neighborhood walkability. Lastly, better general health was associated with more PA, less perceived neighborhood violence, and better perceived neighborhood aesthetics.
The results of this study indicate an association between respondents’ neighborhood perceptions, health behaviors, and general health. While previous studies have found associations between dietary and PA behaviors and the built environment in larger urban areas, this is one of the first to show this relationship in a smaller micropolitan community. These findings suggest the importance of considering the built and social environments in intervention and policy design for dietary and physical activity programming.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Evaluate the impact of neighborhood perceptions on health behaviors and general health. Discuss opportunities for intervention and policy implementation to promote increased F/V and PA. Discuss potential points of intervention and policy development to improve neighborhood conditions.
Keyword(s): Community-Based Health, Nutrition
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a doctoral student in Community and Behavioral Health. I have coursework and research experience related to health disparities. I have a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
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.