Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Agricultural and Resource Economics
The prevalence of obesity has increased significantly in the past three decades. Obesity and inadequate physical activity are the major contributors to health problems. In addition to understanding the contribution of biological and psychological factors in the growth of obesity rates, there is a growing interest in understanding the impact of environmental factors on obesity. This study examines the relationship between obesity, socioeconomic factors, environmental factors and physical activity. The study is focused on metropolitan areas and relied on metropolitan county level built environment, natural amenities and outdoor recreational opportunities measures. Individual level socioeconomic and location information is from the National Longitudinal Youth Survey (NLYS79). Panel data of 1768 individual observations from 1998-2008 is used. The study employed 2SLS and ordered probit estimation methods.;Not all built environment measures have significant association with obesity. Density is negatively associated with obesity, whereas, mixed land use is positively associated with obesity. No evidence is found that links street connectivity and centeredness to obesity. The association between built environment and physical activity is mixed and inconsistent. Mixed land use is found to be positively associated with the likelihood participation in regular physical activity and negatively associated with physical inactivity and occasional physical activity, whereas, street connectivity is negatively associated with regular physical activity and positively linked with no physical activity and occasional physical activity. No evidence is found that links density and centeredness with the likelihood of participating in physical activity or inactivity.;The implications of natural amenities and recreational opportunities for obesity and physical activity are mixed. Climate and winter-based recreational opportunities are found to be positively associated with obesity whereas, no significant relationship is observed between BMI and landbased and water-based recreational opportunities. Land-based and winter-based recreational opportunities are found to increase the likelihood of participating in regular physical activity and decrease the likelihood of physical inactivity and occasional physical activity. Climate and water-based recreational opportunities are not significantly associated with the likelihood of participating in physical activity or physical inactivity.
Tekle, Ahadu T., "Examination of Factors Associated with Obesity, Physical Activity and Income in Metropolitan Areas of the United States" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3668.