There is a new study
out that says Children living in city neighborhoods with higher "greenness" ratings seem to gain less weight over time than their counterparts living in areas with less green space.
In the study, from the University of Washington in Seattle, followed more than 3,800 low income mainly African American children, 3 to 16 years old, who resided at the same address in Marion, County, Indiana, for 2 consecutive years.
Having greener surroundings was associated with lower body weight changes in the children, regardless of other residential density characteristics of the neighborhood.
"Greenness may present a target for environmental approaches to preventing obesity," was suggested in the study, which is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
According to the researchers, these findings are in line with previous research linking exposure to green landscapes with health improvements. Among adults, a green surrounding is associated with less stress and lower body weight and improved self-reported health.
In children, the positive health effects of greenness include improved brain functioning and fewer symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
So, what exactly is a Green Neighborhood?
When we think of green, we think of environmentally positive. To many of us, this means recycling, mulching, and walking.
370 developers across the country submitted proposals to pilot a new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system: LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED - ND).
LEED-ND evaluates a proposed or existing development's use of existing infrastructure and energy, water and materials, proximity to existing areas, connections to transit, walkability, density, mixed use, green space, and many other elements.
The LEED-ND standard will serve as a concrete signal of, and incentive for, better location, design, and construction of neighborhoods and buildings. With the aim of creating "compact, complete and connected" neighborhoods, the LEED-ND score (or a threshold score) could be tied to language in comprehensive plans, zoning, impact fees, and public and private funding for developments.
What do you do to stay green?