Kids living near green spaces such as park and lawns in their neighborhoods in urban areas are less likely to be overweight, said a US study.
Researchers studied 7,334 children, ages three to 18, in Marion County in the US and used body mass index to determine which children were overweight.
They also looked at the amount of green space and the number of food outlets such as fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores around each child's home, reported health portal Health Central.
The researchers, led by Gilbert Liu of the Children's Health Services Research Programme at the Indiana University School, found that children who lived in neighbourhoods with fewer green spaces were more likely to be overweight.
This is probably because children are more active if they have access to green spaces that make physical activity more enjoyable, Liu said.
"We may say that green spaces are associated with kids' activity level, but we really don't know for sure," said Thomas Glass, of the department of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore.
One of the researchers says it's difficult to directly link green space and children's weight. He says socioeconomic factors also play a part in children's activity levels.