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.
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