Title

Adolescents' Perspectives of Home, School and Neighborhood Environmental Influences on Physical Activity and Dietary Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Journal

Children, Youth and Environments

Volume

18

Issue

2

First Page

12

Last Page

35

Abstract

This investigation sought to gain an understanding of how youth perceive neighborhood environmental influences on their physical activity and eating behaviors. This qualitative study targeted a heterogeneous sample of 12- to 14- year-olds in London, Ontario, Canada. Using a semi-structured interview guide, we conducted nine focus groups (n = 60) and used inductive content analysis to investigate their discussions. Most participants discussed their school, parks, and opportunity structures around their homes as influencing their physical activity, and overwhelmingly reported the availability of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and slow-food restaurants in their neighborhoods as influencing their eating practices. The descriptive information collected through this study is potentially significant for the efforts of city planners, policy makers, health professionals, school officials, and parents to promote and support healthier youth behaviors.