Study Shows Lack of Green Space Is Linked to Childhood Obesity



When you think of garden, most people think of a special earthy and fertile spot to grow your own crops – from apples to zucchini, depending on your climate and how much time you’re willing to invest in your crops, you can easily have a home-grown meal from garden to grill in a matter of weeks. But for many, buying from the grocer’s may be far more convenient, ridding the necessity of garden and even a yard.

But a new study presented by Annemarie Schalkwijk of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam found that even having a lack of green space can increase the risk of childhood obesity in young children.

ThinkstockPhotos-480746877The study, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, analyzed data from 6,647 children from England and determined having no access or a lack of access to green spaces in their neighborhood between the ages of 3 and 5 increased the risk of overweightness or obesity in children by the age of 7.

Though many factors contribute to the onset of obesity in children such as socioeconomic influences and parental influences, the Schlkwijk and her team adjusted for these measures.

They found no garden access for lower educated households with children ages 3-5 increased the risk of overweightness and obesity 7 years by 38%. Additionally, higher educated households living in disadvantaged neighborhoods with the same aged children also have an increased risk of overweightness and obesity by 38%.

ThinkstockPhotos-450667629The importance of having not just a garden, but at least a yard can be a weighty determinant in the future of health of a child. Yards are not merely patches of grass with bushes and trees that need constant landscaping. Yards, gardens, parks and even empty lots are present to encourage outdoor play and activity. Having access to a yard or outdoor playspace invites children to participate in outdoor activity.

At the very least, moms and dads, you don’t have to scold your hyperactive kids from running through the house when they’ve got an outdoor place to play.

Leave a Reply