Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walk It Off

Thanks to a recent report from the Center for Disesase control's first annual inagural Weight of the Nation conference, there has been increase in reports in the news and in print about the ever growing obesity problem in America. Here is a NBC news report on the conference. The report says that about $147 billion is spent on treating weight related illness such as diabetes and heart diseases annually.

Closer to home, it was recently reported at the
Bangor Daily News that Maine, although only the "35th most obese state in America," is the most obese in New England. From that article:

"...24.7 percent of Maine adults are clinically obese compared with
23.7 percent in last year’s report."

I have always had a hunch that people in urban areas and those don't drive cars
on a regular basis are generally in better health, and this associated
press article
backs me up. A few highlights:

"New research illustrates the health benefits of regular biking, walking or taking public transportation to work, school or shopping. Researchers found a link between "active transportation" and less obesity in 17 industrialized countries across Europe, North America and Australia."

"The authors say it's more than lifestyle choices that lead Americans to use their cars more. Europe's compact, dense layout and infrastructure are more conducive to getting around without a car."

So while this analysis doens't provide a scientic linlk betwene obesity and alternative transportation, it makes some good points that are hard to argue with. Keeping people in better shape, which benefits us all, is one of many reasons to invest in public transporation and carless or less-car dependant transportation in the Portland area.

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