Friday, September 5, 2014

Greener neighborhoods proven better for birthing babies: Urban planners hardest hit!

Article:  Greener neighborhoods lead to better birth outcomes, new research shows
Mothers who live in neighborhoods with plenty of grass, trees or other green vegetation are more likely to deliver at full term and their babies are born at higher weights, compared to mothers who live in urban areas that aren't as green, a new study shows.
The findings held up even when results were adjusted for factors such as neighborhood income, exposure to air pollution, noise, and neighborhood walkability, according to researchers at Oregon State University and the University of British Columbia.
What about adjusting for marital status? It should be easy to figure that in. Or is that too controversial to deal with? More unmarried women in urban environments compared to suburban environments may be the missing factor here.

What about adjusting for easy access to the mother's mother? The grandmother can have a huge, positive impact on the mother and her baby, both before and after birth.

What about adjusting for a car culture versus a bus-and-cab culture? A pregnant woman is going to think twice about a lot of activities if she has to use a bus, or subway, or a cab.

Think of all things beneficial to pregnant women that are easier to do if she has access to a car: grocery shopping, visiting the parents or the in-laws, keeping a doctor's appointment,going to religious services. Even running away from an abusive man is going to be easier if you can throw all your stuff into the back of a car and drive away.

The title of the article implies cause-and-effect. This may be simply "correlation is not causation." Living in a "green" area and having better birth outcomes may both be caused by another factor entirely.

About my title. One thing that the Obama administration has been doing is to pursue policies that will force people out of the suburbs and back into cities. Or, rather, slow down or shut down new suburban development.

They have been doing it on the QT, but...

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