To examine to what extent spatial inequalities in childhood obesity are attributable to spatial inequalities in socioeconomic characteristics across a country, we aimed to investigate the spatial associations of socioeconomic characteristics and childhood obesity. We first explored spatial patterns of childhood obesity prevalence, and subsequently investigated the spatial associations of socioeconomic factors and childhood obesity prevalence across England by selecting and estimating appropriate spatial regression models. As the data used are geospatial data, we used two newly developed specifications of spatial regression models to investigate the spatial association of socioeconomic factors and childhood obesity prevalence. As a result, among the two newly developed specifications of spatial regression models, the fast random effects specification of eigenvector spatial filtering (FRES-ESF) model appears to outperform the matrix exponential spatial specification of spatial autoregressive (MESS-SAR) model. Empirical results indicate that positive spatial dependence is found to exist in childhood obesity prevalence across England; and that socioeconomic factors are significantly associated with childhood obesity prevalence across England. In England, children living in areas with lower socioeconomic status are at higher risk of obesity. This study suggests effectively reducing spatial inequalities in socioeconomic status will plays a vital role in mitigating spatial inequalities in childhood obesity prevalence.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited