Study: Mosquitoes May Be Making Kids Fatter
Asian tiger mosquito is keeping kids inside and inactive
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2013 12:37 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Blame for childhood obesity on too many cheeseburgers and ... mosquitoes? So says a new study from Rutgers University, which suggests the itch-inducing pests are so bothersome they're keeping kids indoors and inactive in summer. The study isn't an iron-clad one—researchers had a relatively small pool of about 40 kids log their outdoor activity, and synced that with whether the mosquito treatment efforts in their area were "controlled" or "uncontrolled."

Their conclusion, per the Asbury Park Press: "Children residing in the community where effective abatement took place spent more time outdoors in play." The Star-Ledger puts a number to it: The data showed that "time spent in outdoor play was estimated to be 63% less than it would have been if mosquitoes were not a persistent annoyance." The study is part of a larger multi-year investigation into the tangible costs of mosquitoes, particularly the fast-spreading Asian tiger mosquito.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
People_Suck
Jul 28, 2013 3:16 PM CDT
I have a mosquito bite. I guess I'll eat a box of Twinkies.
Holly Williams
Jul 27, 2013 7:31 PM CDT
I really don't see this as all that ridiculous. I mean, granted a kid could use insect repellant but perhaps there are long term health effects that the parents don't want them to experience? Also, you can get West Nile Virus and other bugs (pun intended) from mosquito bites. I don't like going outside during peak mosquito hours either because of the risk.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 27, 2013 3:22 AM CDT
THIS IS THE MOST STUPID, BONE HEADED, MORONIC, OUTRIGHT PIECE OF CRAP I'VE SEEN NORTH-SOUTH-EAST-AND WEST OF THE PECOS. No, I can tell you what is keeping kids indoors, off the parks, playgrounds, bball courts, and stickball fields. Video games, computer chat, Facebook, apps, streaming video, Netflix, and Red Box. That's what is causing childhood onset diabetes and heart disease. Do you not get it. My typical day as a kid involved a very active day at school. First of all, PE in the 70's was meant to find if you had any hidden heart problems. Now they mollycoddle the kids so they don't feel insulted, tired, or challenged. Next was school sports. I would get home around 8pm and have to soak in the tub as mom brought in a plate of some casserole she concocted from Sunday's cooked meat. Chicken surprise, Chicken helper, Chicken catchatory, Chicken Divan, etc. By Lord that poor Chicken made it six ways to Saturday. I would soak until I turned into a prune and then crawled into my bed and went to sleep. Dad woke us up with his daily "Oh what a beautiful morning" spiel and then it was all over again. Even on Wednesday night when we went to church at 5PM to eat, we still played like there was no tomorrow in the church gym as the parents went to adult service and then choir practice. Then by Saturday, we got up to watch our usual barrage of Chuck Jones productions and by noon we were out saving the world from the invading Russians. Then by 7PM mom was mad because we were late for supper and after that we went out until sunset and found out exactly how much abuse a cat would take before it scratches you. You can only give a cat so many rides in a drier barrel before it finally does something heinous. Then we get in and watch the Saturday evening shows which was usually Carol Burnett and Hee Haw. Then later came SNL that we technically were not supposed to watch and then MASH, and finally Benny Hill (on a UHF tv in the room.) Now compare that to the kid of today and you have a bowl of jelly with a cell phone stuck in it.