Presenter: Irene Headen, Ph.D., MS
Racial disparities in weight status during the childbearing window have long-lasting implications for racial disparities in obesity over the life course. Neighborhood context is a key multilevel determinant of maternal weight status during and after childbearing. However, the multidimensional nature of neighborhood contexts is often not captured in a comprehensive way. Doing so would facilitate a more complex understanding of how neighborhoods impact on health beyond simple additive accumulations of individual factors across the social, physical, and built environment. It can also improve insight into how neighborhoods can be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of interventions targeting maternal weight status. This talk will explore insights from my research using composite measures of neighborhood opportunity access in relation to racial/ethnic disparities in key weight-related maternal health outcomes, including gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention. The talk will conclude by proposing systems-based methods as a next step in continuing to capture the complex and dynamic aspects of neighborhood context in ways that can facilitate translation of evidence into action to improve Black maternal health.
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