Crime, Perceived Danger, and Obesity in Later Life: The Role of Gender

a Presentation

Haena Lee

Tuesday, 10/16/2018, 4:00pm.   ARCHIVED EVENT

Location: 6050 ISR Thompson

Objectives: I examine whether police-reported crime is associated with obesity and examine to what extent the association between crime and obesity is explained by perceived neighborhood danger with a particular focus on gender differences. Method: Data are drawn from the wave of 2010-2011 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project merged with information on neighborhood social environment and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime report. I use burglary as a main predictor. Waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) are used to assess obesity. Results: Living in neighborhoods with higher levels of burglary is associated with a larger WC and a higher BMI for women, but not for men. These associations are partially explained by perceived danger among women. Discussion: Findings identify neighborhood burglary rates as a contextual risk in later-life obesity and highlight that perceived neighborhood safety contributes to gender differences in health outcomes.


Dr. Haena Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. Dr. Lee's research examines how, for whom, and to what end social context matters for health over the life course. Using the HRS Life History Mail Survey, her current work investigates whether childhood family and school context have a long-term impact on later-life cognitive function and how marital history and discrimination experiences during adulthood explain the effects of early-life circumstances on health. Dr. Lee is a postdoctoral fellow with SRC-Health and Retirement Study and she is also a Population Studies Center postdoctoral fellow affiliate.

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