News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Childhood obesity rates high in Georgia

The AJC covers the distressingly high percent of Georgia's youth who are severely overweight and obese:
Georgia’s children rank as some of the heaviest in the country, with about 37 percent of children ages 10 to 17 overweight or obese, according to a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson study.

The extra pounds put youngsters at risk for obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which used to be seen mainly in adults.

The article focuses on eating habits, alluding to the epidemic of physical inactivity but not connecting the dots between the built environment and inactivity. When our neighborhoods and cities are built to accommodate automobiles, and not people, people (big surprise!) do not engage in much activity: sit in the car, sit in the classroom, sit in the den, etc.

In communities that make biking and walking safe, convenient transportation options, obesity levels are much lower and children are healthier.

In light of these facts, Georgians shouldn't be too surprised by the obesity issue in the state but ought to be embarrassed by this.

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