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Kids with Grass Underfoot May Be Less at Risk for Overweight

Armen Hareyan's picture

Children in population-dense regions who live around green parks and lawns may be less likely to be overweight, according to a study appearing in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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The researchers based their study on a long-held theory that environmental conditions can influence the growing obesity epidemic by affecting physical activity and nutrition. They concluded that densely populated neighborhoods with more plants and grass were associated with a reduced risk of overweight among children and suggested it was because access to parks and outdoor play spaces increased their activity levels.

"I was intrigued by our results," said lead author Gilbert Liu, M.D., of the Children's Health Services Research Program at Indiana University School of Medicine. He said that while his urban neighbors may see youth "playing kick-the-can in the middle of the street