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NEIGHBORHOOD PERCEPTION AND OBESITY IN AGED MEXICAN AMERICANS

C. Siordia, J. Saenz

J Frailty Aging 2012;1(4):152-161

Background: Hypotheses on the relationship between neighborhood perception and obesity (as measured by body mass index) seem to generally posit that a positive neighborhood perception may be related with behaviors that positively moderate body weight. Objective: To determine if and how there is an association between positive neighborhood perception and obesity—while accounting for frailty- and disability-related factors. Design: Cross-sectional study from Wave-5 of the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (HEPESE). Setting: Data files housed by the Sociomedical Division in the department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Participants: A total of 889, aged 75-90 community-dwelling Mexican Americans in the Southwest United States. Measurements: Body mass index (BMI=Kg/m2), neighborhood perception, grip strength, gait speed, depression symptomatology, chronic conditions, presence of limitations with basic and instrumental basic activities of daily living (ADLs), and other health and demographic variables are used in logistic regressions predicting the likelihood of being obese (BMI > 30 Kg/m2) versus being of normal weight (BMI 18.5-25.4 Kg/m2). Results: The odds of being obese increase: as the level of positive neighborhood perception increases; grip strength increases; and with having any limitations with basic-ADLs. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that a positive neighborhood perception need not always be accompanied with a reduced risk of being obese. Because functional limitations in older ages may influence how positive neighborhood perception affects BMI, more research is needed.

CITATION:
C. Siordia ; J. Saenz (2012): Neighborhood Perception and Obesity in Aged Mexican Americans. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2012.24

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