Sprawl and Health: A National Report Card

A new national study and special issues of two prestigious medical journals offer powerful indications that sprawl has a hand in the country's obesity crisis. Includes fact sheets for each state with health sprawl scores for each county.
August 29, 2003, 10am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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"A new national study and special issues of two prestigious medical journals released today offer powerful indications that sprawling development has a hand in the country's obesity crisis. Together, they demonstrate the urgent need to invest in making America's neighborhoods appealing and safe places to walk and bicycle. The peer-reviewed study, which used a county sprawl index developed in partnership with Smart Growth America, found that people living in automobile-dependent neighborhoods that suppress walking do indeed walk less, weigh more, and are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.The study, Relationship between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Morbidity is being published in a special issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion. Smart Growth America and the Surface Transportation Policy Project have issued a companion report, Measuring the Health Effects of Sprawl, which gives county-level data illustrating the findings for the metropolitan areas studied. In most metropolitan areas, residents in more sprawling counties are heavier and face higher odds of being obese and having high blood pressure than those in less sprawling counties... The report outlines seven steps communities can take to respond to the findings of the research."

Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan

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Published on Friday, August 29, 2003 in Smart Growth America
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