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.
Vol. 26, Issue 35, Page 13Published in Print: April 27, 2007, as Childhood Obesity