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1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Parental perceptions and use of neighborhood facilities are important factors that are related to children’s dietary intake and physical activity. The aim of this study was to examine the association between neighborhood deprivation index, parents’ perceptions of their neighborhood environment, and healthy/unhealthy markers of child dietary intake, physical activity, and TV screen time. This cross-sectional study was conducted in Dublin, Ireland. The lifestyle behaviors among children and parental perceptions of their neighborhood environment were reported by the parents of 276 children aged 3–5 years by using parent-completed questionnaires. Deprivation index was assessed using the geographic information system (GIS). Data were analyzed using binary logistic regression, adjusting for socio-demographic confounders. In adjusted models, high deprivation index was associated with parental perception of the neighborhood as unsafe for walking and cycling due to crime (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.04–2.43, p = 0.031) and children’s low engagement in structured physical activity (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.17–0.72, p = 0.004). Parental perceptions of an unsafe neighborhood due to heavy traffic were negatively correlated with children’s active play (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55–0.95, p = 0.022). Children whose parents reported high satisfaction with the number of local sit-in and takeaway restaurants were 41% more likely to consume confectionary/sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) weekly. In this age group, parents play an important role in children’s lifestyle behaviors; therefore, a better understanding of parents’ perceptions and their use of neighborhood facilities could contribute to creating a healthy environment for this age group.
Bassul, C., Corish, C.A. & Kearney, J.M. (2021). Associations between Neighborhood Deprivation Index, Parent Perceptions and Preschooler Lifestyle Behaviors. Children, vol. 8, no. 11, pg. 959. doi:10.3390/children8110959