HBO’s new series, the Weight of the Nation, shines a harsh light on the obesity epidemic plaguing all communities across the country. In a recent post featured in Transportation for America’s blog, Susan Polan, associate executive director of APHA, offers her thoughts on the film and discusses why providing sustainable, safe transportation options is integral to building healthier, more active communities.
With the launch of the four-part Weight of the Nation film series on HBO, the nation is getting another stark reminder that our health is impacted by how our communities are designed. Too many of our communities are sorely lacking opportunities for safe walking and biking or good access to public transportation. The film confirms this reality. We have engineered physical activity out of our daily lives and Americans spend approximately 100 hours each year commuting.
The consequences from a lack of physical activity in communities across the U.S. are shocking. In January 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey of America’s health, which showed that almost 32 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds and nearly 69 percent of adults in America are overweight or obese.
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