Green spaces found to increase birth weight

Mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher birth weights, according to a new study, "Green Spaces and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes" published in the journal, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

A team of researchers from Israel and Spain, including Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), evaluated nearly 40,000 single live births from a registry birth cohort in Tel Aviv, Israel to determine the impact of green surroundings during pregnancy and birth outcomes.

"We found that that overall, an increase of surrounding greenery near the home was associated with a significant increase of and decreased risk for low birth weight," says Prof. Michael Friger, of BGU's Department of Public Health. "This was the first study outside of the United States and Europe demonstrating associations between greenery and birth weight, as well as the first to report the association with low birth weight."

An analysis of neighborhood socioeconomics also revealed that the lowest birth weight occurred in the most economically deprived areas with lack of access to green spaces. Green spaces—parks, community gardens or even cemeteries—were defined as land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation.

"The application of remote sensing data on surrounding green areas enabled our study to take small-scale green spaces (eg, street trees and green verges) into account, while the OpenStreetMap data determined the major green spaces," Friger explains.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Birth weight, breastfeeding linked to C-reactive protein

May 12, 2014

(HealthDay)—Higher birth weight and having been breastfed for three or more months correlate with lower C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration in young adulthood, according to a study published online April ...

Estimating baby's size gets more precise

Apr 28, 2014

New Michigan State University research aims to help doctors estimate the size of newborns with a new set of birth weight measurements based on birth records from across the country.

Recommended for you

Blending faith and science to combat obesity

2 hours ago

Science and religion may seem like uneasy partners at times, but when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles, one UConn Health researcher has shown they can be an effective combination.

Research project puts stroke patients back on their feet

3 hours ago

Finding the will to exercise routinely can be challenging enough for most people, but a stroke presents even more obstacles. Yet aerobic exercise may be crucial for recovery and reducing the risk of another ...

Air quality and unconventional oil and gas sites

6 hours ago

Research suggesting air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US is published today in the open access journal Environmental Health. High levels of benzene, hydrog ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.