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Prev Med. 2005 Jun;40(6):831-41.

Examining the relationships among built environment, physical activity, and body mass index in El Paso, TX.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The current study examined the relationships among built environment, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) in a primarily Hispanic border community in El Paso, TX.

METHODS:

Data from a 2001 community-wide health survey were matched to environmental data using geocoding techniques in ARC VIEW software. A total of 996 adults were surveyed by phone and 452 were successfully geocoded.

RESULTS:

The sample was 71% female, 79% Hispanic, 42 +/- 17 years old, moderately acculturated, and had socioeconomic status (SES) levels of semi-skilled workers. Increasing BMI was related to less moderate intensity physical activity (P = 0.05), higher SES (P = 0.0003), worse overall health (P = 0.0004), and living in areas with greater land-use mix (less residential; P = 0.03). The relationship between overall health and BMI was in part mediated by higher numbers of barriers to physical activity in those with poor health, which lead to a decrease in moderate physical activity. These variables explained 20% of the variance in BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is one of the first studies to find a positive relationship between land-use mix and BMI in a predominantly Hispanic, low-income community. The positive association between BMI and land-use mix may be due to the inclusion of individual SES as a controlling variable in the analyses, suggesting that SES may have a differential effect on how the built environment influences BMI in low- to moderate-income minority communities.

PMID:
15850885
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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