Objective: Time spent commuting is associated with obesity. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between neighborhood-level commute to work (CTW) times and self-reported health behaviors and food access. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of caregivers with infants as part of the Greenlight Study, a multisite obesity trial in Chapel Hill, New York City, Nashville, and Miami. ZIP code–based commuting estimates were determined using the US Census American Community Survey. Self-reported health behaviors and food access data were collected by directed interview. Logistic and linear regression models were used to determine associations between neighborhood CTW times and health behaviors and food access. Results: The average neighborhood CTW time for all ZIP codes was 29 minutes (n = 846). Caregivers in longer CTW time neighborhoods were more likely to endorse fewer food choices (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–1.69; P = .001) and difficulty accessing markets with fresh produce (AOR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.02–2.25; P = .04). Neighborhood CTW time >30 minutes was associated with less caregiver physical activity (AOR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.34–0.98; P = .044). Neighborhood CTW time was inversely related to infant television time (adjusted mean, 399 minutes/day for ≤30 minutes and 256 minutes/day for >30 minutes; P = .025). New York families in longer CTW neighborhoods were more likely to report difficulty accessing markets with fresh produce (AOR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.03–3.14; P = .039). Conclusions: Neighborhood CTW time is associated with several self-reported health behaviors and perceived food access among caregivers with children. Neighborhood CTW times may represent city-specific features, including transportation infrastructure, which may impact the health of families.
- physical activity
- urban planning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health