The influence of socio-economic status and leisure accessibility on spatial patterns of childhood obesity in Portsmouth

Mason, Samuel (2006) The influence of socio-economic status and leisure accessibility on spatial patterns of childhood obesity in Portsmouth. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Background- The rising prevalence of childhood obesity is considered to be one of the most significant apprehensions over the health of school aged children worldwide. The International Obesity Taskforce estimated there to be 155 million overweight and 30-45 million obese children globally in 2000. Research into the significant causal factors thus far has been inconsistent and inconclusive, demanding the need for further investigation. Aim- To examine the spatial spread of childhood obesity in the city of Portsmouth, evaluating prevalence rates at electoral ward level and spatial variations between genders. The association childhood obesity has with socio-economic status and accessible leisure provision will be investigated with the preconception of explaining the spatial distribution of obese children in Portsmouth. Method- Data on 1474 children aged 4/5 was investigated using the GIS package MapInfo Professional 7.8 and Minitab 14.2, undertaking spatial analysis and statistical causal modelling. The Townsend and Carstairs indexes were calculated to examine socio-economic status and the acquisition of primary data was used to evaluate the accessibility of leisure provision in Portsmouth and correlations with childhood obesity. Results- Levels of childhood obesity in Portsmouth are generally lower than estimated national prevalence rates. The spatial distribution of childhood obesity is vastly differing between genders, with socio-economic status being negatively correlated with obese boys and single parents influencing the spatial spread of obese girls. It is recommended that initiatives to reduce levels of childhood obesity in Portsmouth should be aimed at electoral wards of a lower socio-economic class containing higher proportions of single parents. Results have demonstrated that the accessibility of leisure provision is excellent in Portsmouth, showing no causal significance to levels of childhood obesity.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/213

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