Posted on May 24, 2011, 6 a.m. in
Weight and Obesity
The sedentary lifestyle that automobile use enables, coupled with the prevalent role it plays in increasing the sprawl of our cities, towns and suburbs, may be a leading public health hazard contributing to the surge in obesity. Sheldon H. Jacobson, from the University of Illinois (Illinois, USA), and colleagues analyzed the relationship between obesity and vehicle use, looking at annual vehicle miles traveled per licensed driver as a surrogate measure for a person's total sedentary time. After analyzing data from national statistics measured between 1985 and 2007, the team discovered vehicle use correlated "in the 99-percent range" with national annual obesity rates. Writing that: “Vehicle travel and obesity show high correlation in the United States. This correlation reflects their nationwide evolution in recent decades,” the team urges for the establishment of “Policies to reduce vehicle travel may have the added benefit of obesity reduction.”
Sheldon H. Jacobson, Douglas M. King, Rong Yuan. “A note on the relationship between obesity and driving.” Transport Policy, 11 May 2011.
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