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Green spaces near your home reduces obesity in schoolchildren

Depending on the type of green space the benefits could be higher but can increase allergies in schoolchildren

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Green spaces near your home reduces obesity in schoolchildren

A scientific study confirms the benefits on health to live near green and blue spaces (forests, parks, lakes, sea, etc) reducing obesity and overweight. The only problem is that researchers have verified that this increases the possibility of allergies but not cases of asthma.

According to Payam Dadvand, a CREAL researcher and one of the authors, residential surrounding greenness was associated with 11-19% lower relative prevalence of overweight/obesity and excessive screen time. Similarly, residential proximity to forests was associated with 39% and 25% lower relative prevalence of excessive screen time and overweight/obesity, respectively, but was not associated with current asthma. In contrast, living close to parks was associated with a 60% higher relative prevalence of current asthma, but had only weak negative associations with obesity/overweight or excessive screen time.

In this study researchers used data from 3,178 schoolchildren (9-12 years old) in Sabadell, Spain (2006), through questionnaires. Besides this, they measured residential surrounding greenness as the average of satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in buffers of 100 m, 250 m, 500 m, and 1000 m around each home address. Residential proximity to green spaces was defined as living within 300 m of a forest or a park.

Reference: Dadvand P, Villanueva CM, Font-Ribera L, Martinez D, Basagaña X, Belmonte J, Vrijheid M, Grazuleviciene R, Kogevinas M, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ. Risks and Benefits of Green Spaces for Children: A Cross-Sectional Study of Associations with Sedentary Behavior, Obesity, Asthma, and Allergy. Environ Health Perspect 2014: (en Premsa).


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