The Effect of Environmental Factors and Socioeconomic Status on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity in a Sample of Adolescents from Austin Texas




Vanbrakle, Cherelle

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Obesity, a chronic multifactorial disease has become highly prevalent in the United States in the past few decades, and the incidence is predicted to continue to increase. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among the walkability characteristics of neighborhoods, as measured using the Neighborhood Environmental Walkability Scale (NEWS) survey, with physical activity and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of adolescents from Lyndon Baines Johnson High School of Austin, Texas. Packets for participants and their parent/guardian were sent home and completed. Height and weight were obtained to calculate BMI. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Several factors were correlated with the adolescents’ BMI, including the parent’s perceptions of neighborhood aesthetics, the students’ perception of pedestrian and automobile traffic safety in their neighborhood, and distance to hike/bike trails and recreation facilities. Neighborhood walkability appeared to be moderately related to adolescents’ BMI.



NEWS survey, Pediatric, Fitnessgram, Obesity, Physical activity, BMI


Vanbrakle, C. (2012). <i>The effect of environmental factors and socioeconomic status on body mass index and physical activity in a sample of adolescents from Austin Texas</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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