Patterns of obesogenic neighborhood features and residential property values
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Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and past research has investigated ways in which neighborhood characteristics may influence obesity prevalence. However, studying features of the obesogenic neighborhood can be difficult because of the need for complex multilevel analyses. Using data from the Seattle Obesity Study, a cross-sectional study of socioeconomic disparities in diet and health based on a representative sample of 2,001 adult residents of King County, WA, we examined property value as a new metric for capturing aspects of the built environment. We used regression analyses to examine the associations between property value and 22 total self-reported access to neighborhood amenities and perception of neighborhood characteristic variables, and further investigated the association between these neighborhood features and BMI. Eight of the 11 access to amenities variables and ten of the 11 neighborhood perception variables were associated with property values (p<0.001). The largest difference in property values due to access to amenities was associated with access to a convenience store ($60,000 lower property value); the largest differences in property value due to neighborhood perceptions was believing the neighborhood to be attractive, ($100,000 higher property value) and trusting the people in the neighborhood ($90,000 higher property value). We further found that the association between neighborhood features and BMI depended on gender. The data provide evidence that, because of its ability to capture complex information about the built environment, neighborhood perceptions, and socioeconomic status in a single metric, property values can be of great use in epidemiology studies.
- Epidemiology