Washington: People who participate in community gardening have a significantly lower body mass index, as well as lower odds of being overweight or obese, than their non-gardening neighbours, a new study has found. "It has been shown previously that community gardens can provide a variety of social and nutritional benefits to neighborhoods. But until now, we did not have data to show a measurable health benefit for those who use the gardens," Cathleen Zick, lead author of the study and professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah said. To gauge a health benefit, researchers used body mass index, or BMI, a calculation based on a person`s height and weight and which is widely used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. In general, a normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9; a smaller number is better than a larger one.
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