The Association of Residential Mobility With Weight-Related Health Behaviors

Jonathan M. Miller, David Haynes, Susan Mason, Olamide Ojo-Fati, Theresa Osypuk, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To estimate associations of residential mobility with body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and diet and whether associations differ across demographics. Design: Longitudinal cohort with 4 waves of survey follow-up over 15 years. Participants and Setting: A total of 2,110 adolescents and young adults originally from the Twin Cities of Minnesota responded to at least 2 waves of follow-up, beginning at ages 15 to 23 years. Main Outcome Measure(s): Self-reported BMI, physical activity, fast food consumption, breakfast frequency, sugary drink consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, and screen time. Analysis: Each outcome was modeled as a continuous variable using hierarchical linear regression. Residential mobility—change in residential address—was the main effect of interest. Models adjusted for demographics, marriage during follow-up, and previous level of the outcome. Inverse propensity weights accounted for loss to follow up. Results: No weight-related outcomes differed between movers and nonmovers in the whole sample. When examining effect modification by age, as participants aged, moving was increasingly associated with improvements in weight-related outcomes, particularly BMI. Conclusions and Implications: Results suggest that moving may be associated with poorer weight-related outcomes during a brief window from late teens and early-20s and less associated with weight-related outcomes in the mid-20s and 30s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant R01HL116892 (PI, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . Jonathan M. Miller, David Haynes, and Olamide Ojo-Fati were supported by grant no. T32CA163184 from the National Cancer Institute (PI, Michele Allen).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior


  • life course
  • longitudinal analysis
  • residential mobility
  • weight-related behavior

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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