Severe Housing-Cost Burden and Obesity Among Preschool-Aged Low-Income Children in Los Angeles County
By Nobari T, Whaley S, Blumenberg E, Prelip M, Wang M
Despite high rates of housing-cost burden in the United States, little is known regarding its impact on childhood obesity. In this article, we determine whether low-income 2–5-year-olds living in housing-cost burdened households are more likely to be obese and examine the potential moderators and behavioral and psychosocial mediators of this relationship. We used data from a triennial survey (2011, 2014) of a random sample of Los Angeles County participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (n = 2307). Logistic regression was used to examine the association between child’s obesity status (Body Mass Index for age and sex ≥ 95th percentile) and severe housing-cost burden (finding it very difficult to pay for housing). Mother’s depressive symptoms and child’s diet and screen time were tested for mediation. We found that 16% of children lived in severe housing-cost burdened households. Severe housing-cost burden was associated with an increase in the odds of childhood obesity [aOR (95%CI) = 1.33 (1.00, 1.78)] and household size moderated this relationship. Child’s diet and screen time and mother’s depressive symptoms were not mediators. Given the high and vacillating rates of early childhood obesity and the increasing burden of housing costs in low-income populations, there is an urgency to better understand the role of housing-cost burden in epidemiologic investigations of early childhood obesity.
February 11, 2019
Nobari T, Whaley S, Blumenberg E, Prelip M, Wang M (2019) Severe Housing-Cost Burden and Obesity Among Preschool-Aged Low-Income Children in Los Angeles County. Preventative Medicine Reports: Vol. 13, pp 139-145. Available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335518302791