Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sustainable Cities Have Slimmer Residents

Super X crossing at 7th and H rocks! Go @DDOTMichael Humphrey writes at Salon.com about how he lost 80 pounds after moving to New York City:
Back in the Midwest, where I lived my entire adult life, the most common question was, "How did you do it?" Some people asked with a wink and nod -- you know those vain coastal people and their shortcuts. No, I didn't have surgery, didn't take supplements, didn't hire a trainer or even buy a miracle-cure book.

I walked more, and I ate less.

Part of my diet plan was simple necessity. Back home, I drove a car everywhere I went. I cherry-picked parking spots to get as close to the door as possible, shaving my walk to the minimum. But my normal daily walk in New York City was about three miles, just getting to school, walking to work either in Greenwich Village or Midtown and meeting my friends and wife for dinner.
It's not just living in the city - it's about living in a city designed to facilitate walking & biking:
Cities and states with more sidewalks and bike paths tend to have slimmer residents than locations where people must rely on non-active, car transportation, a new study finds.

Those cities with the highest levels of active commuting and lower obesity rates tended to be the older U.S. cities with well-developed public transit systems in the Northeast (Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.) and on the West Coast (Seattle and San Francisco). More than 10 percent of work trips in these cities involved walking or biking, said study researcher David Bassett, of the Obesity Research Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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