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Can Living in a Bad Neighborhood Make You Fat?

A new study of public high school students suggests a connection between obesity and feeling unsafe in one's neighborhood.

"Of the 1,140 students surveyed, nearly 12 percent said they rarely felt safe in their neighborhood and 9 percent said they never felt safe in their neighborhood.

These students were about 1.2 times more likely to be overweight or at risk for becoming overweight compared with students who said they sometimes or always felt safe (44 percent) or always felt safe (36 percent), researchers report in the online journal Public Health, published by BioMed Central."

Full Story: Unsafe Urban Neighborhoods Linked to Teen Weight



Weighted reporting?

Just wondering, what "at risk for becoming overweight" means, what qualifies as overweight, and whether overweight kids in better neighborhoods also feel unsafe. Also, what criteria are they using for "urban?"

This report imples is that "urban-living teens" are more prone to be overweight poltroons, just as they are apparently more prone to be violent gang members. For example, the ABC report states:

"Duncan's group, therefore, suggests policies and programs to address gang activity and violence may also help prevent urban-living teens from becoming overweight."

The study, here,, says:

"Data suggest that perception of neighborhood safety may be associated with overweight status among urban adolescents in certain racial/ethnic groups. Policies and programs to address neighborhood safety may also be preventive for adolescent overweight."

The difference is subtle, but palatable. Tastes a little bitter, I'd say.

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