Hm. So if you have kids, odds are they’ll be doing more walking today than on most days. The only problem is that they’ll also be eating more partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn syrup than on most days.
Here’s a horrible chart from the CDC:
[The figure above shows the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, by age group, in the United States during 1963-2008.]
Why is anyone talking about ebola? I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that safe routes to school might help fix this long-term trend.
We need more culs-de-sac, superstroads, Lakevilles, and Maple Groves of the world. Y’know, so our children can be safe.
Sadly, I think “help” is the key word. This is a worldwide trend:
…and it isn’t just humans:
I don’t know if weight trends are going to turn around, but I do have a hunch that it would reduce the morbidity associated with weight gain.
I grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s. My parents thought nothing of letting me play outside with the neighborhood kids all day and ride my bicycle around the neighborhood. My perception is this kind of stuff has been curtailed, and parents letting their kids roam the neighborhood alone, or even worse, ride a bicycle without a foam picnic cooler on their head, are being irresponsible. Granted there’s the internet too nowadays, but I wonder how much parental paranoia nowadays plays a part.
it’s not paranoia to note that traffic on our street routinely runs at 40-45 mph (except when it exceeds it, like the idiot who managed to get over a curb and mow down the parking sign and a fair-sized tree before stopping, a few years ago), that cars turn off that street onto our quiet side street without looking for pedestrians, and that even right in front of the elementary school cars don’t stop for marked cross walks and will try to nose through crowds of kids if there’s a minor gap.
Blaming parents for the terrible infrastructure and unaddressed dangers of walking and bike riding – while we address the dangers of being driven with major regulation on the safety of those inside cars – doesn’t help much.