Association between parent's perceptions of the neighborhood environment and children's outdoor time, nutritional status and physical activity guidelines compliance in Carahue, Chile

Miranda-Marquez, Sebastian; Mella-Garcia, Camila; Chandia-Poblete, Damian; Aguilar-Farias, Nicolas


BACKGROUND: Children's outdoor time (OT) has been associated with higher probabilities to meet physical activity (PA) guidelines (1 hour of moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA per day). OT may be influenced by different external factors, but parent’s perceptions of the neighborhood characteristics may play a key role in this behavior. PURPOSE: To examine the association between children's OT, PA guidelines compliance and body mass index (BMI) with parent’s perceptions of the physical and social neighborhood environment according to sociodemographic characteristics in Carahue, Chile (third poorest town in the country). METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in children between 8 to 13 years old from six primary schools (n=237). Sociodemographic characteristics, OT on week and weekends days, PA guidelines compliance and neighborhood perceptions were obtained through self-report using questionnaires completed by parents and children independently. Neighborhood characteristics reported by parents were grouped into subscales (i.e. traffic safety, distance to PA facilities, etc.) and global scores, in which higher values represent better perceptions. Height and weight were measured to obtain BMI. Multilevel Regression models were used to determine the association between parent’s perception of neighborhood and OT, PA guidelines compliance and BMI. Analyses were adjusted by sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: High score on global perception of the neighborhood was associated with more time spent outdoor on weekend days (β=0.04; p=0.001). Better perceived traffic security was associated with lower probability of being overweight/obese (β=0.08; p=0.039). After school OT was associated with meeting PA guidelines (β=0.41; p=0.029) for both genders. Children with more educated mothers had higher chances to meet PA guidelines (β=0.15; p=0.021). CONCLUSIONS: Parent’s perceptions about the neighborhood characteristics may play a key role in defining not only OT, but also nutritional status due to the interaction between these variables. Efforts and investments for improving the built and social environment may promote better health in children from low-income areas.

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Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2018
Página de inicio: S212
Página final: S212
Idioma: English