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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

(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."

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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. (Read more childhood obesity stories.)

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