City dwellers are less likely to be overweight or obese and are more likely to report better overall health when they live in an area with a 28 percent tree canopy, compared to those who live in urban areas with sparser tree cover, according to a Sacramento Bee op-ed article.
Health outcomes were compared for people living in two hypothetical urban neighborhoods, one with an 18 percent tree canopy and one with a 28 percent tree canopy. Various factors, including income, education, home ownership and race were controlled in order to compare identical populations.
The study estimated that those living in areas with a more expansive tree canopy would have a lower incidence of various health problems: 20 percent lower rates of diabetes and obesity in adults, 23 percent lower rates for being overweight/obese in teens, and 28 percent lower rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.
Read the article.