JPHCOPH Studies Childhood Obesity
A collaborative study including Ms. Dayna Alexander, a doctoral student at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, examines the association between recreational parks and facilities and childhood obesity. Despite the rising childhood obesity rates, few studies have examined the association between access to recreational parks and facilities and obesity. A cross-sectional study was performed among 42,278 U.S. children who participated in the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. Access to parks and recreational facilities was self-reported by parents, and body mass index was calculated from parents’ self-report of the child’s height and weight. Researchers found that children with access to parks and facilities had decreased prevalence of obesity as compared to children without access. This research highlights potential health disparities in childhood obesity due to limited access to recreational parks and facilities. Additional studies are needed to further investigate this association. If confirmed, providing safe, accessible parks and facilities may be one way to combat childhood obesity.