The importance of green spaces in childhood obesity

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The importance of green spaces in childhood obesity

Nature is good for you. And now there would be proof: living next to green spaces reduces the risk of obesity and depression. The study: Green space access in the neighbourhood and childhood obesity, published on the Obesity reviews: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, talked about this topic.

"Access to green space may influence individual physical activity (PA) and subsequently weight status, as increased exposure to green space could improve health by increasing opportunities and the actual levels of PA.

articles that analyzed the association between access to green space and weight-related behaviors / outcomes among children, published before 1 January 2019. The sample sizes ranged from 108 to 44 278. Four cohorts and 17 cross-sectional studies conducted in nine countries were identified Overall, evidence showed a positive association between access to green space and PA and a negative association between access to green space and television-watching time, body mass index (BMI) and weight status among children.

Distance to the nearest green space, measured by geographic information system (GIS) in 10 studies, was often used to represent access to the nearest green space. It stil l remains difficult to draw a clear conclusion on the association between access to green space and BMI.

Longitudinal studies can directly estimate the strength of the association between exposure and disease, which is needed to determine the causal association between access to green space and weight status."

Icelandic nature is a cure-all, because

Covered for 10% by glaciers, Iceland is made up of the mountains of the mid-Atlantic ridge and has a surface formed by rocks of volcanic origin, mainly basaltic.

Much of its territory is occupied by mountains that reach moderate heights and is characterized by vast plateaus. The coasts, rich in inlets and deep fjords to the north, are sandy and low to the south and here are concentrated the arable areas, which are in total about one fifth of the surface.

Finally, it must be said that the country is home to the largest glacier on the continent, the Vatnajökull and is the second largest island on the continent. The beauty of Icelandic nature could be a cure-all. The article: The Restorative Potential of Icelandic Nature, published on the International journal of environmental research and public health, said about the topic: "This study aimed to investigate if proposed restorative attributes according to attention restoration theory and supportive environment theory could be experienced and identified in Icelandic landscape and contribute to a restorative experience in nature sites in rural Iceland.

A prospective mixed-method study was conducted over the period of one year. Seven different nature sites that were considered likely to have restorative qualities were selected for the evaluation ie, three forest sites, three seashores, and one park in and in the vicinity of Ísafjör & eth; ur, Iceland.

Each site was evaluated regarding how the participants experienced its restorative qualities and how a stay therein affected their mental state. Nature visits were offered once a week, where the participants visited one of the seven locations for two hours.

The findings show that the participants perceived and experienced nature sites as having the characteristics of a restorative environment and that staying at the nature sites positively affected their mental state. External conditions, like weather, which can affect nature visits, were rarely a hinderance.

Thus, it can be concluded that numerous coastal areas, forests, and parks in Iceland, especially in rural areas, might possess restorative qualities as well. This result shows that wild and open nature in North West Iceland has the characteristics of a restorative environment and can be utilized for health promotion. "