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US state- and county-level social capital in relation to obesity and physical inactivity: A multilevel, multivariable analysis

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  • Kim, Daniel
  • Subramanian, S.V.
  • Gortmaker, Steven L.
  • Kawachi, Ichiro
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    Abstract

    Although social capital has been linked to a variety of health outcomes, its association with obesity has yet to be elucidated. This study explored the relations between social capital measured at the US state and county levels and individual obesity and leisure-time physical inactivity. Individual-level data were drawn from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, while data from other surveys and administrative sources were used to construct contextual measures. Two state-level social capital scales were derived from 10 indicators and two county-level scales from five indicators. In 2-level analyses of over 167,000 adults nested within 48 states plus the District of Columbia, residence in a state above the median on one or both state social capital scales (vs. neither scale) was associated with lower relative odds of obesity and physical inactivity, controlling for individual-level covariables and state-level estimates of mean household income, the Gini coefficient, and the percentage of Black residents. In 3-level analyses, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for physical inactivity associated with residence in a county above the median on one or both county social capital scales was significantly below 1, while the association with obesity was not significant. Significantly weaker inverse ORs for the relations between state- and county-level social capital and obesity were observed among American Indians/Alaska Natives compared to Whites. Meanwhile, little support was found for mediation by social capital of the associations of urban sprawl and income inequality with obesity or physical inactivity. Overall, this study provides some evidence for the promotion of social capital as a potential strategy for addressing the burgeoning obesity epidemic.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 63 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 1045-1059

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:4:p:1045-1059

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

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    Related research

    Keywords: Social capital Obesity Physical activity Multilevel analysis Income inequality Urban sprawl USA;

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    Cited by:
    1. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," MPRA Paper 32392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Herian, Mitchel N. & Tay, Louis & Hamm, Joseph A. & Diener, Ed, 2014. "Social capital, ideology, and health in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-37.
    3. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 30948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Daniel Kim & Christopher F Baum & Michael Ganz & S.V. Subramanian & Ichiro Kawachi, 2011. "The contextual effects of social capital on health: a cross-national instrumental variable analysis," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 786, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Fiorillo, D; & Sabatini, F;, 2011. "Quality and quantity: the role of social interactions in individual health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Chul-Joo Lee & Daniel Kim, 2013. "A Comparative Analysis of the Validity of US State- and County-Level Social Capital Measures and Their Associations with Population Health," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 307-326, March.
    7. Hanibuchi, Tomoya & Murata, Yohei & Ichida, Yukinobu & Hirai, Hiroshi & Kawachi, Ichiro & Kondo, Katsunori, 2012. "Place-specific constructs of social capital and their possible associations to health: A Japanese case study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 225-232.
    8. Yoon, Jangho & Brown, Timothy T., 2011. "Does the promotion of community social capital reduce obesity risk?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 296-305, May.
    9. Riumallo-Herl, Carlos Javier & Kawachi, Ichiro & Avendano, Mauricio, 2014. "Social capital, mental health and biomarkers in Chile: Assessing the effects of social capital in a middle-income country," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 47-58.
    10. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in self-reported individual health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1644-1652.
    11. Melissa Scharoun-Lee & Penny Gordon-Larsen & Linda Adair & Barry Popkin & Jay Kaufman & Chirayath Suchindran, 2011. "Intergenerational Profiles of Socioeconomic (Dis)advantage and Obesity During the Transition to Adulthood," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 625-651, May.
    12. Murayama, Hiroshi & Wakui, Tomoko & Arami, Reiko & Sugawara, Ikuko & Yoshie, Satoru, 2012. "Contextual effect of different components of social capital on health in a suburban city of the greater Tokyo area: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2472-2480.
    13. Yakovlev, Pavel & Leguizamon, Susane, 2012. "Ignorance is not bliss: On the role of education in subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 806-815.
    14. Carroll-Scott, Amy & Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn & Rosenthal, Lisa & Peters, Susan M. & McCaslin, Catherine & Joyce, Rebecca & Ickovics, Jeannette R., 2013. "Disentangling neighborhood contextual associations with child body mass index, diet, and physical activity: The role of built, socioeconomic, and social environments," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 106-114.
    15. Chen, Zhuo & Gotway Crawford, Carol A., 2012. "The role of geographic scale in testing the income inequality hypothesis as an explanation of health disparities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 1022-1031.

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