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Teens Living in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Lack Access to Parks and Get Less Physical Activity

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Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): E. Richard Brown; Theresa A. Hastert; Susan H. Babey

Funder(s): California Endowment

Funder(s): California Endowment

Topic: Health (Health promotion)
Health (Health services for low income people)

Keywords: physical activity; low income; teens

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


Teens living in neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income households are unlikely to have a safe park near their home and are more likely to get less physical activity, according to this policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The policy brief finds the same trends among teens in neighborhoods with higher unemployment rates, lower levels of education and higher levels of household crowding.

Based on data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, the U.S. Census and park location information, this policy brief examines adolescent physical activity and access to parks as a function of the characteristics of the neighborhoods in which they live. Specifically, this brief shows that physical activity and access to parks vary with neighborhood characteristics, including concentration of low-income households, crowding, unemployment rates and level of education. These neighborhood characteristics serve as indicators of neighborhood disadvantage and point to neighborhoods that are likely to have limited resources.