Contextual Influences on Weight Status Among Impoverished Adolescents: Neighborhood Amenities for Physical Activity and State Laws for Physical Education Time Requirements

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Purpose:

This study examines the relationship between state laws for physical education and neighborhood amenities for physical activity on weight status in adolescents of low socioeconomic status.

Methods:

Data from 2 national data sources: Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS) and the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) were combined and analyzed.

Results:

Multinomial regression models found that adolescents in states with strong PE law were associated with a lower odds of being obese [OR = 0.63 (0.41, 0.97)]; however, when PE law and neighborhood amenities were included, only neighborhood amenities were associated with lower odds of obesity, but also greater odds of overweight status.

Conclusion:

This study emphasizes the potential significance of state laws on low SES groups to combat obesity; as well as the potential differential effects of local level factors, and alignment with policy goals for healthy weight.

Oh (ohay@mail.nih.gov) and Perna are with the National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Rockville, MD. Hennessy is with the Clinical Monitoring Research Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., Frederick, MD. McSpadden is with the National Catholic School of Social Services, Catholic University of America.