Date of Award

6-2014

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Dr. Kelly Main

Abstract

This project takes a look at the impacts of our built environment on obesity in children living in racial and ethnic communities in relation to city planning. The results of this project results in a comprehensive report to provide an in-depth look into understanding the important relationships between children’s health and the built environment and understanding the best practices and recommendations for improving health in Guadalupe.

Located in the Santa Barbara County, the City of Guadalupe is mainly an agricultural town with over 85 percent of its residents who are of Hispanic Origin. With almost half of its Latino population under 17 years of age, Guadalupe is an ideal location to examine the number of complex social, economic, and environmental matters that can contribute to higher overweight and obesity rates among Latino children.

The food environments and physical environments were examined using Community Assessments and outreach efforts with school children and the residents of Guadalupe. Current professional and academic literature on childhood obesity, the built environments, food environments, and schools were reviewed for this project. Responses from a multitude of methods were analyzed and compared to create a list of recommendations for improving children’s health in Guadalupe. These methods included Community of Excellence (CX3) field surveys, walkability surveys, and a Photovoice project with school children.

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