It should come as no surprise that people who have gardens where they live tend to eat a healthier diet. When flavorful, organic and extremely nutritious food is readily available, people will eat it and reap the benefits of what these foods provide. That’s just one of the many reasons that people grow gardens aside from the facts that they add a high degree of utility to their land and because on average, homegrown food is much less expensive than what consumers will pay at the grocery store or some other large retail outlet.
However, few people have had the opportunity to study the effects of urban gardens because they are relatively new on the cultural landscape. It has only been during recent years that people have begun to place gardens in places where no one previously thought to place them, and that has led to new angles for study and for learning. One such attempt at learning was recently completed by researchers, and the conclusions of the study revealed some tangible benefits to those who make use of community urban gardens.
The results of this research appeared in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health, and the study involved comparing the BMI, or body mass index, of people who were involved in working on an urban garden with people who lived in the same area but who did not. Presumably, the people who did not work in these urban gardens purchased their food at local retail outlets but who otherwise were members of the same general demographic.
What the researchers found was that the people involved with urban gardens had lower BMI’s as compared to those who were not. Specifically, the BMI for gardening women was 1.8 points lower than their non-gardening counterparts. That equates to approximately 11 pounds in weight for a woman who is 5-foot-5. Gardening men had a BMI that was 2.4 points lower, which equates to 16 pounds on a man who is 5-foot-10. Obesity rates and percentages of people who were overweight were also quite different. Men who gardened were 62 percent less likely to be obese or overweight than their counterparts, and women were 46 percent less likely to be obese or overweight.
Studies like this one are likely to continue to pop up from time to time as more urban gardens are started and more people start to consume the food that they produce. This would also tend to add to the list of reasons that urban gardens are so beneficial to people who use them. Examples of these benefits include:
The ability to garden anywhere
The opportunity to eat healthy, organic food
The benefits of a better diet
The enjoyment of a lower BMI and a healthier lifestyle
If you are interested in starting an urban garden either on your property or with neighbors, contact the professionals at Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego today to get this process started.