This paper examines the school neighborhood environments related to childhood obesity in a rural community in Texas, focusing on the assessment of three aspects: socioeconomic characteristics, food environment, and physical activity environment. Different methodological approaches were employed to characterize the aspects of the school neighborhood environments. Most public schools in the community were located in low-income neighborhoods. There were disproportionately high concentrations of fast food restaurants and convenience stores within the active travel-to-school zone. Most of the students who lived in the active travel-to-school zone did not walk or bike to school, and student safety was identified as the predominant barrier. Most schools did not have proper guidelines or procedures for walkers and bikers. Moreover, there were heavy concentrations of unhealthy food outlets in the school surroundings where sidewalks were built to encourage students’ active travel to school. We conclude that a more comprehensive and balanced approaches should be adopted to increase healthy eating and physical activity, and to reduce childhood obesity.
Choi, Jin, and David Pate. 2012. "The School Neighborhood Environment for Childhood Obesity in a Rural Texas Community." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 27(3): Article 5. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol27/iss3/5