The spin-spin relaxation rate R2 (=1/T2) in hydrogel foams measured by use of a multi spin echo sequence is found to be dependent on the echo time spacing. This property, referred to as R2-dispersion, originates from both surface relaxation and molecular self-diffusion of water within internal field gradients that result from magnetic susceptibility differences between the gel and air phase. In hydrogel foams, correlations between the average air bubble size and R2-values are found (S. Baete and Y. De Deene, Proc. Intl. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. (15) 37, 2007.). Random walk diffusion is simulated to correlate the R2-dispersion with the foam microstructure (i.e. the mean air bubble radius and standard deviation of the air bubble radius) and foam composition properties (i.e. magnetic susceptibilities, diffusion coefficient and surface relaxivity). Simulations of R2-dispersion are in agreement with NMR measurements of a hydrogel foam. By correlating the R2-dispersion parameters and microstructure properties a semi-empirical relationship is obtained that enables the mean air bubble size to be derived from measured R2-dispersion curves. The R2-derived mean air bubble size of a hydrogel foam is in agreement with the bubble size measured with X-ray micro-CT. This illustrates the applicability of 1H R2-dispersion measurements for the macroscopic determination of the size of air bubbles in hydrogel foams and alveoli in lung tissue.