The Moderating Role of Social Neighbourhood Factors in the Association between Features of the Physical Neighbourhood Environment and Weight Status

Jody C. Hoenink, Jeroen Lakerveld, Harry Rutter, Sofie Compernolle, Ilse de Bourdeaudhuij, Helga Bárdos, Helene Charreire, Jean Michel Oppert, Joreintje D. Mackenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: This paper investigated the independent and joint associations between aspects of the physical neighbourhood environment and social neighbourhood factors with BMI and overweight status in European adults. Methods: Data from 5,199 participants in the SPOTLIGHT survey were analysed. Participants reported on their height, weight and perceptions of the neighbourhood. Objectively measured aspects of the physical neighbourhood environment included: presence of recreational facilities, features of the active transportation environment, neighbourhood aesthetics and presence of different types of food outlets. Social factors included the self-reported variables social network, social cohesion, social trust and perceived crime and the census variable neighbourhood socioeconomic status. Outcome measures were BMI and overweight status. Main associations between physical and social factors and BMI/overweight status were analysed using multilevel regression analyses adjusted for confounders. Moderation analysis was conducted by adding the interaction terms between physical and social neighbourhood factors one by one to the multivariable models. Significant interaction terms were then stratified. Results: Significant associations with BMI/overweight status were found for features of the active transportation environment and all social factors, except perceived crime. Several significant interaction terms were detected, but no significant associations between the physical neighbourhood environment and BMI/overweight status were found after stratification. Conclusion: We did not find consistent interactions between physical and social neighbourhood factors to explain BMI and overweight status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number1
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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