Out of Control Policy Blog

Whatís making the kids fat? Part II

Plenty of researchers are anxious to find that suburbia makes us fat, but those of us who grew up running around and climbing trees in big backyards might be more likely to appreciate how certain aspects of suburban living actually encourage healthy living:

    SOUTH Australian children with big backyards are less likely to be overweight and inactive than those with small courtyards, a study has found.

    Preliminary data from the Flinders University Achieving a Healthy Home Environment study, which surveyed the homes and lifestyles of 280 southern suburbs families, found the size and set-up of homes contributed largely to how fit and healthy young children were.

    Researchers looked at more than 75 physical and nutritional variables in each family home over the past year.
    "We found the bigger the backyard, the more active the kids," said Flinders Medical Centre consultant pediatrician Dr Nicola Spurrier, who headed the study that will continue until next year.

    "But we also found the amount of play equipment and play areas in a back yard had a big impact too."

Researchers also uncovered other rather obvious points: active parents are more likely to have active kids; healthy kids are more likely to have parents who limit their TV-watching and stick healthy food in the fridge.

Article here; via Peter Gordon.

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Ted Balaker is Producer


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