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CDC says U.S. transportation system needs health check-up

Posted by on April 30th, 2010 at 10:54 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a series of recommendations on how to improve health through transportation policy. The report is a resounding endorsement of the current stance of the U.S. Department of Transportation and of local and national advocacy groups and government agencies that are calling for an increased focus on active transportation.

The CDC points out that our current transportation system is designed solely to move people and goods efficiently, but that, “there is a growing awareness across communities that transportation systems impact quality of life and health.”

In their rationale for making the policy recommendations, the CDC writes (emphasis mine):

“Physical activity and active transportation have declined compared to previous generations. The lack of physical activity is a major contributor to the steady rise in rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other chronic health conditions in the United States.”

The report goes into detail on eight specific recommendations, including Promote Active Transportation and Encourage Healthy Community Design.

Read the full report on the CDC’s website.

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  • q'Tzal April 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Glad to hear it echoed by scientists.
    Hopefully more people and organizations will see the light as it is no longer the specific interest groups, cyclists promoting road cycling, but unrelated parties that have said “hey, there is something to this”. Safety in numbers and all that.
    Hopefully this is a turning point towards a future where pedestrians and cyclists get equally respect on our roads.

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  • Jackattak April 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Here’s a good idea:

    Get your fat ass out of your car and get a bike, walk, jog, or skateboard to work.

    Harsh? Hell no. My Mother is morbidly obese at 300-lbs. and 5’1″ and on her deathbed at 63. (Just had a birthday, yay Ma!)

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  • elaine April 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm


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  • Anne Hawley April 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    @Jackattak #2. How about we a) leave off the nasty name-calling and b) not view bike-riding or any other form of exercise as if it were magic?

    I commute and do errands by bike virtually 100% of the time and haven’t started my car in so long that if it were stolen tomorrow I wouldn’t notice (no, I’m not going to mention where it’s parked), and I’m not magically an acceptably slim person. My posterior is still plenty wide, though I do get off it at least twice a day and am in better cardiovascular shape than many another fat woman my age.

    Obesity and related health problems won’t be magically solved by active transportation, and they sure won’t be solved by mean-spirited name-calling. If you met me off a bike, I’m sure you’d lump me into the same “morbidly obese fat ass” category, with its clear implication of “lazy”. You might be correct, you might be way off base, but in no universe would you be making any positive difference.

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  • Jackattak April 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Anne –

    You’re certainly not in the norm nor the lump group, and you’ll excuse me (or not) if I’m a little fed-up afte rhaving dealt with the last ten years of watching a woman eat her life away and not move because she doesn’t give a rat’s ass anymore. It’s a sore subject for me because I love my Mom and nobody wants to watch their mother kill herself slowly (or at all).

    Morbid obesity goes a little bit further than I think you’re giving credit. Overeating and lack of activity are the two largest causes of it and overeating is absolutely just as dangerous as alcoholism. Don’t believe me, watch an overeater go through a pint of ice cream in 30 seconds with that “deer in the headlights” look in their eyes when they’re finished. They’re actually HIGH. Like as in just smoked a joint HIGH. Sad but true, yes.

    I’ve tried being nice. I’ve tried getting her treatment. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of seeing it around.

    If the shoe fits, wear it. If you exercise, that’s FANTASTIC no matter what you look like. What you look like has no bearing on the situation as long as three things are present:

    1) You’re happy with the way you look.
    2) You’re exercising.
    3) You’re not overeating.

    That’s the long and the short of it. Anyone stating otherwise is either coddling or trying to sell you something.

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  • craig April 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Shit, Jackattak. You’re not PC but you’re okay with me.

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  • joe metal cowboy kurmaskie April 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I’m thrilled that the CDC is stepping up to the active transportation plate – let’s use this to help keep turning the tide…. for everyone’s health and the enjoyment of our neighborhoods and communities.

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  • Anne Hawley April 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Jackattack, thanks for the permission to accept myself. I needed that.

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  • spare_wheel May 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    “Jackattack, thanks for the permission to accept myself. I needed that.”


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  • Dave2 May 3, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Jackattack, bless you for speaking frankly. I lost my younger sister the same way two years ago. I will always miss her and always wish she’d have become the cycling addict that I am–she’d have likely stayed around a lot longer.

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