Online Program

Association between the quality of walking infrastructure and the percentage of racial/ethnic minorities in 345 zip codes in 10 US communities participating in the community transformation grants

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Jakub Kakietek, PhD MPH, ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Renee Ray, ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Jenna St Cyr, ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Reid Hogan Yarbro, ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Background: Disparities related to health and chronic conditions, including obesity, among different racial and ethnic groups in the US are well documented. Recent literature points to the differences in the environments in which different racial/ethnic groups in the US live and work as one potential factors behind the differences in the burden of obesity and related chronic diseases. This paper contributes to the emerging empirical literature on the environmental determinants of health disparities. It examines the association between walking infrastructure measured using the Walkability Score and the percentage of racial/ethnic minorities in 345 Zip codes in 10 US communities participating in the Community Transformation Grants. Methods: Walkability scores were extracted from for 345 Zip codes in 41 counties located in 10 CTG awardees. Data on race/ethnicity and socio-economic characteristics of the population was extracted from the US Bureau of the Census. The association between walkability and race/ethnicity, controlling for socio-economic characteristic was estimated using a multivariate regression model with robust standard errors. Findings: The association between the percentage of African Americans and the walkability score was statistically significant and negative; Zip codes with higher percentages of African Americans had, on average, lower walkability scores. The association between the percentage of Hispanic population and walkability was not statistically significant. Discussion: The findings show disparities in walkability the 10 communities included in the study and demonstrate that African Americans tended to live in areas with poorer walking infrastructure (longer blocks, fewer amenities within walking distance).

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the association between the percentage of racial/ethnic minority population and walkability in 345 Zip codes in 10 communities in the US

Keyword(s): African American, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have analyzed the data and prepared the presentation that will be presented at the APHA 2013 meeting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.