Our Built Environment Builds Fat Children: American Academy of Pediatrics

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Every cause needs a diverse coalition to achieve its goals. For example: the efforts of environmentalists are increasingly being augmented by an emerging religious consciousness of pollution and our environment. The Vatican has labeled pollution a sin and Evangelical Christians are making environmental stewardship a central cause. So what does that have to do with urbanism? Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics now says that our built environment is helping to create fat kids. It seems that we are just starting to gain a larger consciousness about how our built environment affects taxes, national security, the environment and now our children.

Opportunities for recreational physical activity arise with parks and green spaces. “Utilitarian” physical activity, such as walking or bicycling to school and to other activities, is an equally important part of a child’s daily life. Environments that promote more active lifestyles among children and adolescents will be important to enable them to achieve recommended levels of physical activity. . . Planning and zoning efforts to ensure that children’s ability to walk, play, and get to school safely are a top priority. . . (We should) create and maintain playgrounds, parks, and green spaces within communities as well as the means to access them safely.

Our Built Environment is Bad for Children – American Academy of Pediatrics

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