A new study by Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois looks at the connection between automobile use and obesity.
Here is excerpt:
If a causal link could be established, the association between driving and obesity may provide opportunities to reverse their rise. Achieving such a goal would require transportation and public health experts to look at these problems through a collaborative lens and recognize that problems in one ﬁeld may be best addressed through the skills from another, just as Gawande (2007) notes several medical problems that arise out of non-medical issues and have non-medical solutions.
“The time may be ripe to recognize that it may be impossible to treat one problem without considering the other. Government agencies and private foundations in the United States are making substantial investments to reduce obesity rates by promoting healthy food choices and more physical activity. While personal choices—such as replacing the choices to drive to nearby locations and using elevators with healthier activities such as walking and cycling, and climbing stairs—certainly play a part, realizing a meaningful impact on both obesity and energy consumption will require a societal shift in how we arrange and operate our lives.
A better strategy to curb both energy consumption and obesity rates may be to carve out a national energy policy, a national transportation strategy, an urban planning strategy, and a national public health obesity strategy using the same stroke of the pen.”