Neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation predicts weight gain in a multi-ethnic population: Longitudinal data from the Dallas Heart Study

Tiffany M. Powell-Wiley, Colby Ayers, Priscilla Agyemang, Tammy Leonard, David Berrigan, Rachel Ballard-Barbash, Min Lian, Sandeep R. Das, Christine M. Hoehner

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65 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study is to examine a relationship between neighborhood-level socioeconomic deprivation and weight change in a multi-ethnic cohort from Dallas County, Texas and whether behavioral/psychosocial factors attenuate the relationship. Methods: Non-movers (those in the same neighborhood throughout the study period) aged 18-65 ( N= 939) in Dallas Heart Study (DHS) underwent weight measurements between 2000 and 2009 (median 7-year follow-up). Geocoded home addresses defined block groups; a neighborhood deprivation index (NDI) was created (higher NDI. = greater deprivation). Multi-level modeling determined weight change relative to NDI. Model fit improvement was examined with adding physical activity and neighborhood environment perceptions (higher score. = more unfavorable perceptions) as covariates. A significant interaction between residence length and NDI was found ( p-interaction. = 0.04); results were stratified by median residence length (11. years). Results: Adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, and education/income, those who lived in neighborhood >. 11. years gained 1.0. kg per one-unit increment of NDI ( p= 0.03), or 6. kg for those in highest NDI tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Physical activity improved model fit; NDI remained associated with weight gain after adjustment for physical activity and neighborhood environment perceptions. There was no significant relationship between NDI and weight change for those in their neighborhood ≤. 11. years. Conclusions: Living in more socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods over a longer time period was associated with weight gain in DHS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Neighborhood environment
  • Obesity
  • Socioeconomic deprivation
  • Socioeconomic status


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