Study: Transit Really Does Reduce Obesity

It's difficult to definitively link transit use with lower rates of obesity, but it makes intuitive sense. Here's another attempt, using county-level data.

1 minute read

May 21, 2017, 1:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Straphangers

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Transit usually requires some walking, but it really doesn't feel like "exercise," just like getting to work. Tom Jacobs writes, "Taking the bus or train usually means walking to your final destination, thus providing an automatic period of pound-shedding daily exercise."

The authors of a new study in Preventative Medicine attempted to isolate that effect. "Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they noted the percentage of each county's residents that are obese, as well as the percentage that take part in 'leisure time physical activity' such as running or various sports."

The study found that on average, "a one percent increase in country population usage of public transit is associated with a 0.2 percent decrease (in the obesity rate)." 

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