Characterizing the neighborhood obesogenic environment in the Multiethnic Cohort: a multi-level infrastructure for cancer health disparities research
- 226 Downloads
We characterized the neighborhood obesogenic environment in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) by examining the associations of obesity with attributes of the social and built environment, establishing a multi-level infrastructure for future cancer research.
For 102,906 African American, Japanese American, Latino, and white MEC participants residing predominately in Los Angeles County, baseline residential addresses (1993–1996) were linked to census and geospatial data, capturing neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES), population density, commuting, food outlets, amenities, walkability, and traffic density. We examined neighborhood attributes and obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) associations using multinomial logistic regression, adjusting for individual-level (e.g., demographics, physical activity, and diet) and neighborhood-level factors.
NSES was associated with obesity among African Americans, Latinos, and whites (p-trend ≤ 0.02), with twofold higher odds (adjusted odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals) for living in the lowest versus highest quintile among African American women (2.07, 1.62–2.65), white men (2.11, 1.29–3.44), and white women (2.50, 1.73–3.61). Lower density of businesses among African American and white women and lower traffic density among white men were also associated with obesity (p-trends ≤ 0.02).
Our study highlights differential impacts of neighborhood factors across racial/ethnic groups and establishes the foundation for multi-level studies of the neighborhood context and obesity-related cancers.
KeywordsNeighborhood environment Obesity Race/ethnicity Socioeconomic status
This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute grant R01 CA154644. The Multiethnic Cohort Study was supported by the National Cancer Institute grants R01 CA54281, R37CA54281, and UM1 CA164973 to L. Le Marchand, L.R. Wilkens, and C.A. Haiman. The development of the California Neighborhoods Data System was supported by the National Cancer Institute grant (R03 CA117324) and by a Rapid Response Surveillance Study from the SEER program under a modification to contract N01-PC-35136.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 3.National Research Council (US) Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life (2004) What Makes a place healthy? Neighborhood influences on racial/ethnic disparities in health over the life course. In: Anderson NB, Bulatao RA, Cohen B (eds) Critical perspectives on racial and ethnic differences in health in late life. National Academies Press (US), Washington (DC)Google Scholar
- 27.Zeigler-Johnson C, Weber A, Glanz K, Spangler E, Rebbeck TR. (2013) Gender- and ethnic-specific associations with obesity: individual and neighborhood-level factors. J Natl Med Assoc. 105:173–182Google Scholar
- 46.Kolonel LN, Altshuler D, Henderson BE (2004) The multiethnic cohort study: exploring genes, lifestyle and cancer risk. Nat Rev Cancer 4: 519–527Google Scholar
- 50.Babey SH, Diamant AL, Hastert TA et al (2008) Designed for disease: the link between local food environments and obesity and diabetes. California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Policy-Link, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
- 51.Walls & Associates (2008) National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) Database, 2009. Walls & Associates, OaklandGoogle Scholar
- 52.NavTEq (2010) NAVSTREETS Street Data Reference Manual v3.7. 1. NavTeq, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- 53.California Department of Food and Agriculture (2010) California certified farmers’ market database. California Department of Food and Agriculture, SacramentoGoogle Scholar
- 55.California Department of Transportation (2004) Highway performance and monitoring system. California Department of Transportation, SacramentoGoogle Scholar
- 57.Wilkens LR, Murphy SP, Jardack P, White KK, Kolonel LN, Arab L (2011) Validation of a physical activity questionnaire against the doubly-labeled water standard among a multiethnic population. FASEB J 25:978.9Google Scholar
- 65.Bell JA, Hamer M, Shankar A (2014) Gender-specific associations of objective and perceived neighborhood characteristics with body mass index and waist circumference among older adults in the English longitudinal study of ageing. Am J Public Health 104:1279–1286CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 79.Institute of Medicine (US) (2006) Genes, behavior, and the social environment: moving beyond the nature/nurture debate. In: Hernandez LM, Blazer DG (eds) Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Assessing Interactions Among Social, Behavioral, and Genetic Factors in Health. National Academies Press (US), Washington (DC)Google Scholar