For some years I've been arguing that one of the effects of governing through crime is in the incredible rates of obesity among our children. The argument, in a nut shell, is that parents, hyper conscious about the need to protect their kids from crime risk, accept the immobility of their kids as a price for safety.
Some recent books and newspaper articles suggest that others recognize the locked down quality of contemporary childhood as a crucial part of the obesity problem, but they seem to over romanticize the notion of the "great outdoors" and the association of that with experiences in "nature' (often quite manipulated nature, of course). The problem is not lack of access to nature --- national parks are in more demand then ever and the REI culture of getting outdoors has never flourished so mightily among ordinary middle and upper middle class people. The real problem is getting outside at at all. Roaming urban and suburban streets can be just as effective in preventing obesity, diabetes, etc. as hiking in the woods. Americans "boomers" may not have found our way to nature often enough, but we roamed our neighborhoods and parks. Unfortunately, forty years after President Johnson' administration declared a federal commitment to "safe streets," the fear induced flight from street life has become a major threat to American physical and mental health.
See., St. George, Donna. 2007. “Getting Lost in the Great Indoors: Many Adults Worry Nature Is Disappearing From Children's Lives.” The Washington Post. (June 19) p. A1.