In the article "Young Children in Urban Areas: Links Among Neighborhood Characteristics, Weight Status, Outdoor Play and Television-Watching," published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, Baker Institute Rice scholar Rachel Kimbro and her co-authors examined correlations between outdoor playtime and body mass index (BMI) of children living in urban areas. The study found that children who live in public housing, despite predictions, play outside more and tend to have a lower BMI than other urban children.

"A key to solving obesity problems among poor, urban children is to create safe and open spaces where these kids can play, because now we know that they are outside playing," Kimbro said. "It"s possible that children living in public housing have access to community playgrounds and courtyards for children to play outdoors, which could be why we see more outside play time for them."