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Keywords

residential; segregation; social position; preschooler; obesity; neighborhood; Hispanic

Abstract

During the last decade, there has been a significant inclusion in obesity prevention studies from individual characteristics to household factors then neighborhood factors. The study of place in the context of early childhood obesity studies has been limited to the food and physical built environment. With the persistent disparities in the prevalence of childhood obesity, and Hispanic minorities being increasingly affected, there is a need to reexamine existing models and develop new model conceptual frameworks to examine the role of place and residential segregation in the context of race, ethnicity, social position, and socioeconomic disparities. In the context of place as a relational space linked to where young children live, play and learn, this paper conceptualizes the role of the neighborhood social and physical factors as well as organizational, household and/or individual factors as mediators of the correlation between residential segregation and obesity in Hispanic preschoolers. In the model, we also attempted to include the role of policies and programs in moderating the negative effects of racial residential segregation and resource inequalities and their interactions with the multiple factors that may contribute to childhood obesity. Recommendations for future research need are identified.