This paper estimates the relationship between neighborhood violent crime and child and adolescent weight and fitness. It uses detailed data from the Fitnessgram assessments of public school students in New York City matched to point specific crime data geocoded to students’ residential location. Our empirical approach compares the weight and fitness outcomes of students exposed to a violent crime on their residential H-block with those living in the same census tract but not exposed to violent crime in close proximity to their home. We find for adolescent girls, increases in BMI that range from 0.01 to 0.035 standard deviations and an increase in the probability of overweight of 0.5 to 1.7 percentage points. We find little evidence that BMI, obesity, and overweight change as a result of violent crime for adolescent boys, and younger children. Results are not explained by declines in physical fitness.
- Violent and property crime
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies