“Move more, Gain less: Effect of a Recreational Trail System on Childhood BMI” by Prof. Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr.
Prof. Rodolfo M. NAYGA, Jr.
Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics
Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
University of Arkansas
We investigate the effect of living nearby recreational trails on childhood body mass index (BMI). We find that children live within 0.5 miles from recreational trails have BMI z-scores that are 0.0401~0.0506 standard deviation lower than those who do not live within 0.5 miles of the trails. We also find that living nearby trails reduces the probability of becoming obese by 1.6 percentage points. The impact is larger for Hispanic children, and for children qualifying for free or reduced meals. Our findings imply that improving neighborhood amenities could be an effective policy to reduce disparities in the childhood obesity rate.