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. (Read more childhood obesity stories.)