Association of Exposure to Communities With High Obesity With Body Type Norms and Obesity Risk Among Teenagers | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 18.206.238.77. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    Views 2,475
    Citations 0
    Research Letter
    Nutrition, Obesity, and Exercise
    March 16, 2020

    Association of Exposure to Communities With High Obesity With Body Type Norms and Obesity Risk Among Teenagers

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
    • 2Department of Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
    • 3RAND Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts
    JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e200846. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.0846

    There is substantial evidence of clustering of obesity within geographic and social networks.1 Designing effective policies requires understanding whether this clustering is owing to shared environments, homophily, or social contagion. However, conclusive evidence is limited by the lack of quasi-experimental or natural experiment studies.

    In a 2018 study,2 we analyzed data from a natural experiment, the Military Teenagers Environments, Exercise, and Nutrition Study (M-TEENS), in which US Army families were exposed to communities with varying rates of obesity as a result of their assignments to specific installations. We found that teenagers assigned to counties with higher obesity rates were more likely to have overweight or obesity. The study design ruled out homophily as an explanation, and we found no evidence that shared environments explained these results. We suggested that our findings may be consistent with social contagion with the goal of exploring this issue in future work. In the current cross-sectional study, we used newly collected M-TEENS data to examine whether teenagers’ exposure to communities with high obesity was associated with their ideal body type and obesity risk.

    ×