Neighborhood Environments: Links to Health Behaviors and Obesity Status in Vulnerable Children

Jina Choo, Hye Jin Kim, Sooyeon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to identify the actual and perceived features of neighborhood environments linked to health behaviors and obesity status in vulnerable children by using geographic information systems, walking surveys, and focus group interviews. The participants were 126 children registered at community child centers and 10 mothers of study participants. Increased availability of fast food outlets and convenience stores was significantly and positively associated with fast food and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and inversely with physical activity. Reduced availability of physical activity outlets was significantly and positively associated with sedentary behaviors. Mothers’ perceptions of their neighborhoods fell into three content categories: (a) changed to be unfriendly for children, (b) adapted to fast food and convenience eating, and (c) confined to physically inactive living. Based on these findings, community-level environmental strategies for reducing unhealthy behaviors linked to neighborhood environments should be prioritized to prevent childhood obesity in vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1191
Number of pages23
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the executive director of the Seongbuk-Gu Association of Community Child Centers (Eunyoung Kim) and 15 other heads of community child centers, as well as the efforts of the children, mothers, research assistants, and undergraduate students who participated in walking surveys. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP; No. NRF-2014R1A2A1A11050974).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • childhood obesity
  • geographic information systems
  • health behavior
  • neighborhood
  • vulnerable populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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