Access to playgrounds and athletic facilities at schools can help combat childhood obesity, but many are locked during the weekends, says a report by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based RAND Corp.
On average, RAND researchers found in a study of adolescent girls, students who lived near locked facilities had significantly higher body-mass indexes than students who had access to facilities all week. Locked playgrounds tended to be located in low-income neighborhoods with large minority populations, the study found. The authors caution that more research is needed to establish a direct link between access to playgrounds and childhood obesity. The study followed the physical activity of 1,556 girls in urban areas around the nation.
A version of this article appeared in the May 02, 2007 edition of Education Week