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An Analysis of the Perception of the Built Environment, Physical Activity, and Body Mass Index in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Barry, Amanda (2013) An Analysis of the Perception of the Built Environment, Physical Activity, and Body Mass Index in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

Objectives: This analysis uses self-reported survey data to: (1) determine the prevalence of meeting physical activity standards and overweight and obesity in Allegheny County and how the prevalence differs between those with positive perceptions of their neighborhood built environment and those with negative perceptions; (2) evaluate the relationship between the perceptions, minutes of physical activity per week, and body mass index (BMI) in Allegheny County and if the minutes of physical activity per week mediates the relationship between neighborhood perceptions and BMI; and (3) consider the modification of these relationships by gender, age, socioeconomic status, and race. Methods: Prevalence ratios (PR) were calculated for the prevalence of meeting physical activity benchmarks given neighborhood perceptions, the prevalence of overweight and obesity given neighborhood perceptions, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity among those meeting the physical activity guidelines versus not meeting the guidelines. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between the neighborhood perceptions, minutes of physical activity per week, and BMI and the mediational effect of minutes of physical activity was examined. Results: For the majority of neighborhood characteristics, a positive perception was significantly associated with meeting the physical activity benchmarks. There was evidence of effect modification by income and gender on some relationships. For females, physical activity increased and BMI decreased with a change from a negative to a positive neighborhood perception for many neighborhood environment characteristics; however, minutes of physical activity did not significantly mediate relationship between neighborhood perception and BMI. Discussion: In general, positive neighborhood built environment perceptions were associated with increased prevalence of meeting physical activity benchmarks and decreased prevalence of overweight and obesity. Evidence for interaction by gender and income were found, suggesting that the relationship between the neighborhood environment, physical activity, and BMI differs for those with lower incomes versus those with higher incomes and for females versus males. These findings have significant implications for public health as they describe the most important factors affecting physical activity levels and obesity in Allegheny County and can help public health professionals and policy makers work together to create healthier neighborhoods.


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Details

Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Barry, Amanda
Contributors:
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTalbott, Evelyn O.eot1@pitt.eduEOT1UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSharma, Ravirks1946@pitt.eduRKS1946UNSPECIFIED
Date: 6 December 2013
Date Type: Submission
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2014 20:24
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2019 22:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20276

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