Public Transit Systems Contribute To Weight Loss, Adult Obesity Rates Rose in 28 States Named “Best, Worst Prevention Idea
Posted Jul 06 2010 12:42pm
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showing that the construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in increased physical activity and subsequent weight loss was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while the recent report from Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that 28 US states saw obesity rates increase last year was named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week."
The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Nominees are submitted by Partnership staff as well as the general public, and are voted on by the staff. Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders who are working to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority. More information is available at http://www.prevent.org/.
Increasing the availability of public transit systems is one among a number of modifications to the built environment that offers opportunities for increasing physical activity and reducing the prevalence of obesity and its associated problems. In a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the RAND Corporation found that construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in increased physical activity (walking) and subsequent weight loss by people served by the LRT. These findings suggest that improving neighborhood environments and increasing the public's use of LRT systems could improve health outcomes and potentially impact millions of individuals.
28 US states saw obesity rates still rising last year, while the only place to experience a decline was the District of Columbia (D.C.), F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010, according to a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In 38 US states more than 25% of the adult population is obese. 19 years ago the number of US states with an obesity rate of over 20% was zero.
The USA has had the highest adult obesity rate in the world for several years.