Should we change cities to promote personal physical activity? A response to "Can Cities Be Designed to Fight Obesity?" Today our nation has an ever growing problem with obesity. There are many reasons for this trend, but is there anything can we do as individuals, or society as a whole to reverse this national health problem? The article "Can Cites Be Designed to Fight Obesity?" by Marilynn Larkin discusses the idea of how our environment can affect our desire or means to exercise. Larkin states that one in three adults, and one in seven children in the U.S. are obese. According to one study, U.S. adults gain an average of two pounds per year between the ages of 20 and 40, and could be curbed by taking 2000 extra steps per day. Larkin explores the idea that communities could be constructed or reconstructed to help promote healthy lifestyles. In 2003, steps were taken when the Pedestrian and Cyclist Equity Act was introduced to Congress.
The bill will give $350 million dollars per year over a six year period to fund projects as an incentive for communities to help promote more active lifestyles.
One pilot project introduced in South Bronx has shown that by changing a local waterfront into a community park can create a focal point of activity for the community. One other described is a new community is Stapleton, Colorado, a new community specifically designed with smaller lots to focus more on parks and open space with local shops and businesses. According to Helen Thompson, a program and research liaison with The Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, 80% of people working in Stapleton use alternate modes of transportation.
Marya Morris with the American Planning Association, states that the US Centers for Disease...