Research Study Abstract

Perception of Recreation Facilities, Urban Green Spaces and Food Retailer: Relationship with Physical Activity and Junk Food Intake

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: Nowadays, many researchers have been focused on complex relationship between urban environment attributes and healthy behaviors as physical activity (PA) and dietary intake. However, there are major gaps in our understanding of the way shifts in the physical and social environments affect changes in dietary intake, physical activity patterns and weight change. The aim of this study is verify the relationship among proximity perception to recreation facilities (RF), urban spaces (US) and food retailer’s (FR) with physical activity and food intake, respectively.

Methods: Data were obtained from 237 adolescents (58.4% girls) aged 14 to 18 years-old attending public schools in Porto municipality. PA was measured with accelerometers (Actigraph GT1M) during 7 consecutive days, considering 8 hours per day. Minutes of Moderate Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) were calculated with Evenson (2008) cut-points. The RF and FR proximity perception were accessed by NEWS-Y questionnaire. The recreation facilities and food retailers were categorized in 3 classes, considering until 10 minutes of distance walking from home: 0 (none RF), 1 (1 to 2 RF) and 2 (≥3 RF) the same procedure was used to food retailers. The amount of US was categorized in 2 classes 0 (none) and 1 (1 to 2) us near home until 10 minutes. The food intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire adapted for Portuguese adolescents. Linear regression was calculated.

Results: The median and std deviation of MVpa in adolescents was 53.05±23.25 minutes per day. Considering the proximity perception within 10 minutes walking from home, 66.7% of boys perceived more than 3 recreation facilities and 58.1% of girls perceived more than 3 retailers. No relationship was found between the amount of recreation facilities perceived considering the class 2 (β= 0.78, p<0.232) and amount of US (β= 0.29, p<0.654) considering the class 1 with MVPA. The proximity perception of retialers food considering the class 2 with consuming sweets and pastry (β= -0.64, p<0.318), fast food (β= 0.35, p<0.585) and sugar-sweetened beverages (β= 0.08, p<0.182) ware not related.

Conclusion: The majority of adolescents perceived more than 3 sports facilities and food retailers up to 10 minutes walking from home. However, that was not related with MVPA and with consumption of junk food.

Project grant FCT/FCOMP-01-0124¬-FEDER 014697/PTDC/DES/11807/2009


  • Autran, R.
  • Abreu, S.
  • Pina, M.F.
  • Mota, J.
  • Santos, M.P.


  • Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure

Presented at

ECSS 2014


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