Annotated Bibliography 4: The Built Environment & Childhood Obesity

“The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children.” Pediatrics 123.6 (2009): 1591-598. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

This scholarly article, written by a committee of Pediatricians, delves into how built environments have an impact on the physical health and activity of children. It reports that approximately 32% of American children are overweight, and how physical inactivity is a huge part of the reason why so many children are overweight. The built environment can have an impact on the amount of physical activity that children get throughout the day. In this article, the Pediatricians point out how neighborhoods and communities can provide more opportunities for physical activity by having parks and open spaces for the children to play. As stated by the committee of Pediatricians, “factors such as the school’s location have played a significant role in the decreased rates of walking to school, and changes in policy may help to increase the number of children who are able to walk to school” (Pediatricians, 2009). Modifications to the environment that address risks linked to the volume of traffic in the surrounding areas could have a positive impact on the amount of walking and biking among children. Studies show that outdoor physical activity would also be increased if certain actions were taken to make the space feel safer and to reduce the fear of crime. This article reports that there will be new policies in place which will promote a more active lifestyle among children and teens.

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