Suburban life has been implicated in the obesity epidemic. Yet the proof is not as solid as some research contends.
That is one conclusion from a new report from MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. The research from the center along with the American Institute of Architects discusses public health issues in eight large metropolitan areas of the United States and offers solutions. Alan Berger, the main author, talked about the findings with MIT News. Here is some of what he had to say about suburbia and obesity:
“ If someone says to you that suburbanites are heavier because they drive more, it’s not been proven true. The studies [on this] are actually fairly soft. If you look at these eight cities, 83 percent of the suburban counties ranked healthier than their central city, using widely accepted health-risk factors. …Also, the idea of the food desert is largely fiction. There’s access to decent food pretty much across the metropolitan areas. In our cities the proximity to fast food doesn’t directly lead to poor urban health; there’s proximity to fast food everywhere. The question is how you get people to choose the right foods. “
Thus, the controversy continues.