By ETR | October 7, 2014
We like this study from Harvard researchers looking at child and adolescent BMI scores (body mass index) and their correlation with walkability in the children’s neighborhoods. Researchers looked at BMI scores from medical records for almost 50,000 children ages 4 to 18. Then they used 8 variables to score the walkability of the children’s neighborhoods
The researchers found that children living in closest proximity to recreational open spaces had lower BMIs than those living furthest away. They also found that children living in neighborhoods with more traffic, fewer sidewalks, more crowded intersections and fewer residences were more likely to have higher BMIs, and to have an increase in BMI over time.
The authors suggest that building new environments that encourage walking, and modifying those that don’t, may have an impact on childhood obesity.