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Impact of the Social and Natural Environment on Preschool-Age Children Weight

Department of Environmental Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, K. Donelaicio str. 58, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, Dr. Aiguader, 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 449;
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Background: The complex impact of environmental and social factors on preschool children being overweight/obese is unclear. We examined the associations between the levels of green space exposure and the risk of being overweight/obese for 4–6 year-old children and assessed the impact of maternal education on these associations. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 1489 mother-child pairs living in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 2012–2013. We assessed children overweight/obesity by standardized questionnaires using international body mass index cut-off points, and the level of greenness exposures by satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of each child’s home and by the distance to a nearest city park. The maternal education was used as the SES indicator. We used logistic regression models to investigate the strength of the associations. Results: Children from families with poorer maternal education, pathological mother-child relations and smoking mothers, and living in areas with less greenness exposure (NDVI-100 m), had significantly higher odds ratios of being overweight/obese. Lower maternal education and distance to a city park modified the effect of greenness cover level exposure on the risk of children being overweight/obese. Conclusions: Higher greenness exposure in the residential settings has beneficial effects on children’s physical development. The green spaces exposures for psychosocial stress management is recommended as a measure to prevent overweight/obesity among children. View Full-Text
Keywords: green spaces; maternal education; psychosocial stress; childhood overweight/obesity green spaces; maternal education; psychosocial stress; childhood overweight/obesity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Petraviciene, I.; Grazuleviciene, R.; Andrusaityte, S.; Dedele, A.; Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J. Impact of the Social and Natural Environment on Preschool-Age Children Weight. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 449.

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