Caption: THE annual report on obesity in America. The 2010 report focuses considerable attention on the link between city design and health.
The announcement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation goes like this:
"The country’s obesity epidemic continues to worsen, as detailed in F as in Fat 2010: How the Obesity Crisis Threatens America’s Future. Adult obesity rates climbed in 28 states during the past year and now exceed 25 percent in more than two-thirds of the states, with rates higher among Blacks and Latinos.
The report, by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), discusses how the nation’s response has yet to fully match the magnitude of the problem. At the same time, it highlights public recognition of the issue and acute concern over the prevalence of childhood obesity.
A survey commissioned by RWJF and TFAH found that eight in 10 voters believe childhood obesity is a serious problem—a viewpoint that transcends all demographic boundaries. More than half of voters say that a comprehensive program to combat childhood obesity is worth the financial investment, even if the program would sharply increase government spending.
The report suggests ways to ensure that the disease-prevention measures in the new health reform law are implemented most strategically to help prevent and reduce obesity. Other recommendations include expanding the commitment to community-based prevention programs and sustaining investments in research and evaluation."
The following announcement comes from the fine folks at Re-Connecting America:
"The report contains the latest data on adult and child obesity rates in America, as well as policy recommendations for local, regional, state, and federal officials to help combat the obesity epidemic.
While the majority of recommendations focus on nutrition and physical activity, the report devotes significant attention to the link between the built environment and health, and calls for programs and policies that increase walking, bicycling, and the use of public transportation. Under "Increasing Access to, Availability and Affordability of Physical Activity," (p. 83), it lists "Support mixed-use development and locate businesses, recreation centers, parks, libraries and other facilities near public transportation" as a strategy. There are also recommendations specific to the next transportation reauthorization bill on page 96, including "mass transit and pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure should be enhanced because they help reduce harmful vehicle emissions and promote physical activity" and "all major transit projects should assess their impact on health." The report also contains a good summary of current federal legislation that can potentially promote active transportation and expand funding for mass transit and transit-oriented development."