Barriers to Health: Place and Food Insecurity as Determinants of Childhood Obesity
This dissertation examines the relationship between place, food insecurity, and childhood obesity in the United States. National Survey of Children's Health 2011-2012 data were used to examine this relationship at the household level. United States Department of Agriculture Food Atlas data 2007-2015 along with U.S. Census Bureau 2010 data were used to examine this relationship at the national county level. Texas FitnessGram(TM) 2010-2014 along with U.S. Census Bureau 2010 data and National Education Statistics 2009 data were used to examine this relationship at the Texas school district level. Overall findings include Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic children were found to have a higher likelihood for childhood overweight or obesity compared to Non-Hispanic White children at the household level. Children who received health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP were found to have a higher likelihood for childhood overweight or obesity compared to children without health coverage. At the national county level, increased childhood obesity rates were associated across racial and ethnic populations. Counties with higher rates of National School Free and Reduced Lunch participation were associated with increased rates of childhood obesity. At the school district level minority race and ethnicity students were associated with higher childhood obesity rates. School district Child Nutrition Act funding per child was associated with decreased childhood obesity. The school district Gini coefficient for income inequality was associated with increased childhood obesity. These results suggest that the relationship between place, food insecurity, and childhood obesity is important to understand in order to reduce childhood obesity rates.