Children in green districts less obese
Green vegetation in the environment surrounding housing districts promotes outdoor activities and healthier children.
25 October 2006
WAGENINGEN - Children, who live in so-called green districts, are less obese than their peers from similar districts without green areas. In districts with much grass and trees the percentage of children with overweight is approximately fifteen per cent lower.
That is apparent from a research study, which Alterra, the university office in Wageneingen have carried for the ministry of agriculture, nature and food quality (LNV), because Minister Cees Veerman wants more insight into the impact of ‘greenness’ in and for the city. Alterra compared the data of children from six different GGD-regions.(local heath departments).
The research workers have corrected the data of the children for possible ethnic influences or socio-economic circumstances, according to Alterra. Nonetheless, it still appears that overweight occurs more often in an environment with little vegetation.
According to Alterra much interest has shown for these findings internationally.
Alterra proposes that closer research must be done to study the link between obesity in children and their environment. It speaks for itself that children in green districts may play outside more often and more safely and therefore receive more exercise as a result of which they less frequently become too fat, but that cannot be obtained from the examined data.
The income of the parents also plays a role. From the same research it becomes clear however that everyone would gladly prefer to live in a green district, but that this is more easily attainable for those with higher incomes. Houses with view onto green areas are also more expensive than the same type of house in a residential street. Alterra concludes therefore that people are, however, prepared to pay for greenness in the neighbourhood.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news