Do you think that urbanism mapping has a lot to do with the higher rate of obesity in the states?

Urban planners and architects' goal is to make life easier and more comfortable.
Making transportation an easier option than walking.
the distribution of the functions such as schools hospitals and all are so far apart that they don't take part in the community.
before people tend to walk more since everything was in a walking distance. They have made being indoor more comfortable for us so much that we virtually choose not to leave it.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Meh not really it's more attributed to the massive amount of immigrants coming in from Mexico and Latin America which are some of the most obese countries in the world more so then us. Not only that but it also has to do with just simply being lazy, just because people put toys in to make life more easier doesn't mean you have to use em. It's your choice to live that kind of lifestyle.

    Aging also has to do with it, not so much in my state but others, as aging makes it hard to keep in shape. but again this partly goes with life style choices. Stress, jobs and poverty also play a part like impoverished inner city areas.

    But mostly it comes down to life choice and decisions in daily life that's the main reason. It's all about choices, you can choose to eat crappy or you can choose not to you can choose to take a walk or several walks a day or none at all. You can choose to embrace a comfy and sedentary lifestyle or you can choose a harder and more active one. All comes down to choice.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I would say this, there's more junk food stores within walking distance compared to healthy food stores. I live in Houston and there's at least 20 fast food joints, and 30 gas stations with "food marts" within 4-5 miles in all directions from my house.

    I think what's contributing to obesity is the accessibility of junk food. If we were to reverse and put MORE healthy food in stores, cheaper, AND within walking distance or a short drive, and made all these fast food restaurants and convienient gas stations a longer drive and more expensive, obesity will go down significantly.

    The main culprit is accessibility. Because accessibility influences people to buy it or not to buy it.

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    • In other words, changing the proportion of healthy food in an area to junk food.

What Guys Said 21

  • perhaps but it also has a lot do with moving from an agrarian society. but if you look around the world where there are major cities people still walk a lot and obesity isn't as big a problem as it is in the US.

    i think there are a lot of factors to the rise in obsesity

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  • I would say so. Also the fact people are lazy. I am not sure what US state it was in but a woman walked her dog by driving her car with the dog running to the side of the car. How fucken lazy can some people be. Smh….

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  • Not really. More a matter of demographics. In fact, the more impoverished inner city areas are the fattest of all, no jogging parks in those areas and the people there tend to eat crappy junk food more. Other demographics:
    1. Aging. It's easier to be thinner when you are younger. Take it from this middle aged guy. As the population gets more middle aged or older, it gets less slim.
    2. Immigration. Mexico and Latin America apparently have as high or even higher obesity rates, and a lot of immigrants are coming from those areas.

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    • Good points^^
      But I still do think that urbanism has its impact too.
      Like even leed certified buildings are built in absurd locations which makes it loose its sustainable quality.

  • Diet is probably the biggest contributor. I figured privative societies would get more exercise too, but I was reading an article on three pre-industrial tribes the other day (one in South America, one in Africa, and one in Australia). One of the things that was measured and compared was their activity levels which didn't differ from the average industrialized person. I was surprised, but it also makes sense I think. They want to relax just like us and probably mostly work when necessary.

    We know primative societies don't have access to the food we do though. They don't have bags of sugar, bottles of oil or much food comparable to candy bars and ice cream. Food is probably why most people are overweight. It can be very hard to resist the abundance of delicious food we have access to.

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  • You have to look at history - the population of most cities exploded after World War 2, at the same time that private automobile ownership did. Everyone wanted and could have their own detached home in the suburbs with a front and back yard.

    Prior to this, cities were much more densely populated, public transit infrastructure was well-developed and yes, people were more active in how they got around in their daily lives.

    Cars changed all that. It is slowly but surely swinging back the other way, with the construction of streetcar and LRT networks exploding in cities everywhere and downtowns regaining their vibrancy as not just places to work, but to live and play, too.

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  • I don't know how much it has to do with obesity rates but no doubt it has some effect. For too long too much urban planning has been based around the automobile instead of walkable urban centers. In the U. S. we get this massive, never-ending sprawl that is the same everywhere. I'm in favor of smarter planning that emphasizes already existing urban cores and de-emphasizes ever greater population growth, new highways, and more sprawl.

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  • That could be true. Here in Belgium for example, with 11 million people squeezed into just 30,000 square km, people walk or use their bicycle much more.
    I remember that when I was on holiday in Florida the hotel manager told us there was a mall "almost next to the hotel". It was 12 miles down the road so no car was no shopping :o
    In Belgium many cities are just a few miles apart, smaller villages often just 1 or 2. So within walking distance :D

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    • awesome ^^

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    • Hans222
      Didn't the hotel know a shuttle to the nearest shopping mall?

    • @jacquesvol I don't think so... we haven't asked since we had a rental car.
      It was a sort of Holiday Inn Express, with little facilities. Came closer to a motel but it had the facilities and comfort we needed :D

  • It's mainly their diet. There are many healthy Americans who drive everywhere but they don't stuff their face with what they call 'Pizza'. Two of three slices is enough calorie intake for a normal adult male, but you have HS kids eating a single one themselves.

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    • of course diet and all are major reasons too.
      but I just think that the mapping of the cities is pretty screwed up.
      like for instance I saw a case where they wanted to make a school leed certified alright?
      so they left the old school and built a new one far from the community.
      before kids were able to walk to go to school so it took part in the community.
      the new one, even though it has louvers and has sustainable materials, water and sun treatment etc...
      it s now far from school and people need to use their cars to arrive there.

    • Hmm i see your point better now. Now i think about it my cousins there are EXACTLY like that. The soccer pitches are too far to really walk and then you cba (or underage) to drive there. By the time everyone has shown up its time to go home lol, so u have to set a time to do things. In Europe we knock on everyones doors spontaneously and walk there as a group.

      It does certainly contribute to the problem (although the obeseity problem itself is a little over exagerrated imo)

  • I think it's all down to lack of will-power, poor diet, and a severe overdose of sugar. An apathy to do nothing about carrying out the small changes that could reverse this. Small changes in diet and lifestyle.

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  • I think it's mostly the food. Sugar, grease, and salt... they put that in everything these days.

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  • maybe it has something to do with it... but not a lot. because else you'd have to see the same effect in other western countries too. like france, I think they are quite similar in that regard but the obesity rate is much lower.

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  • it's a factor, but doesn't have the impact that automation has caused = white collar jobs for everyone.

    standing desks help.

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  • Public schools food suck. Kids don't learn it and parents are not into waisting more time with better food, because tired of work, or just are not educated...

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    • Cheaper things also suck a lot, and people can't buy everyhting it's expensive.
      Lack of some information on usa products
      Today is complex to know what wwe eat sometimes also.

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    • that s true

    • Sure, students can walk some minutes to go to school, but that's really complex to solve since cities have a so big complexity of public buildings needed to be "at hand", and the population is very big, some schools will inevitably be somewhere far away.

      But, it's basically dependent from the school directors and family to make them understood those factors and make them... move, and do something.

      another reason - The intertainment industries, so diverse like videogames... it's a pain in the ass to make kids avoid them, specially wwhen you can't go out and play in the streets easily.

  • As the saying goes, "you can't exercise off a bad diet "

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  • Yeah I think so.

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  • Yeah it really does actually. Many places require cars to get anywhere. Luckily my city obviously indeed has transit.

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  • No, main reason for obesity is the mindset of people who succumb to the comforts.

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  • I really don't know what to say on this matter...

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  • They're goal is to make doorways wider.

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  • Urbanites are significantly healthier than those that live in rural areas.

    It's not urban areas that discourage walking. It's suburban and rural ones where you have to drive everywhere.

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    • urbanism isn t really restricted to cities.
      everything needs mapping out.
      it s on a bigger level.

    • I'm not sure you're meaning 'urbanism' in a traditional way then.

      We can say this - pre 1940 urban areas are actually healthier than those later. Think of built up areas with 4-6 story townhomes filled with apartments. Street level shops. Enough population density that public transit is self funding.

      The problem are the sprawled suburbs build post ww2 ehich assume a car.

      And countryside is worst of all now. People no longer labour how they used to and you can't walk to your nearest neighbour even.

  • Yes, it is partially the fault of environmentalists and mass transit advocates for sure.

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    • Oddly enough, some so-called environmentalism has perversely caused city areas to "sprawl" out further.

      For example, in my area the local "environmentalists" didn't want development in one area, which was supposedly a sacred "wetland" near the existing city, so the developers were barred from filling it in. The developers then went a few miles further down the road and paved over some farmland the eco-fiends didn't bother to want to save. And the urban area stretched out, and the time spent on longer distance commutes increased. But hey, they saved that swamp! :P

    • @Curmudgeon lolol 😂
      Priorities in life hahaha.

What Girls Said 7

  • Yes, but I don't agree with your reasoning.

    "Urban planners and architects' goal is to make life easier and more comfortable." - True.

    "Making transportation an easier option than walking." - False.

    “the distribution of the functions such as schools hospitals and all are so far apart that they don't take part in the community.” - True.

    There is a reason why the Live-Work-Play concept is becoming more and more recognized in the field of planning and why the demand for it and what we call 18-Hour cities have been on the rise in real estate development for the past few years now. It fuses together the basic principles of urbanism: walkability, quality of life, mixed-use developments, etc. Designers and planners now, and soon the people will as well, realize just how important and beneficial it is to have everything that you need in walking distance. Yes, it does make your life easier, but it also encourages you to walk, move, go out, be more active, and actually do something.

    “before people tend to walk more since everything was in a walking distance.” - True.

    "They have made being indoor more comfortable for us so much that we virtually choose not to leave it." - False.

    They didn’t specifically make indoors more comfortable for us so that we’d no longer want to leave it. It just so happens that we now find staying in more comfortable as compared to dealing with the hassle of commuting and traffic. How many people orders home pizza because the nearest pizzeria is too far away and they just can’t be bothered going there themselves? How many people goes shopping online instead of in store because a trip to the mall takes too much time? Or how many people have stayed sitting at home watching TV during a bright sunny day because there wasn't a nice park or a beach to go enjoy it at anyway? How much time do you personally spend sitting in a vehicle going to your destination as opposed to walking there because of the great distance? Imagine just how much of the stuff you want to do now, but can't due to time constrictions, you’d finally be able to do if you didn't spend so much of your time 'travelling' to places but instead had the capacity to be there in just minutes! I'd finally be able to go to the gym... 😓 But anyway, transportation is not being made easier so that you don’t anymore have to walk. It’s being made better to answer the rising need for it partly caused by the disaster that bad urban planning and urban sprawling have created.

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    • ok I am appreciate your comment.
      but I don t get why you said: "Making transportation an easier option than walking." - False.
      it s correct. things are not close to reach so going to the metro/bus/car is more adequate.
      and you contradicted yourself in your last point :/
      all the reasons you stated validate exactly my first point.

    • I'm saying that while urban planners and architects do aim to make life easier like your first point says, it doesn't necessarily mean they're making transportation easier so that you don't have to walk anymore. Good urban planning would make our lives better by creating a community that follows the live-work-play concept so that everything that you need is already in one place, where you won't have to take a car anymore to reach your destination. A place where you won't have to rely on vehicles, where you could just walk or even bike to wherever your destination may be because it actually can be reached by foot or because the roads are designed to be safe for bicycles, unlike in some communities now where the nearest school is in the next town due to urban sprawling. It is precisely so that what you said about metro/bus/car being more adequate won't be true anymore because just walking would be enough.

  • I think you bring up some great points. I'd say those in addition to easy access to very fattening food, our dependency on sugar, or lack of doing anything hard (aka exercise) and our total acceptance of obesity have created the problem. I also don't think its only an American problem as many people would have you believe.

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    • thank you ^^ and yea you re right, I just mentioned the states because the youtube I saw had statistics about the states over the years.

  • could be.

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  • No, the increased processing of food, such as introducing corn syrup and various other sugar substitutes has created the obesity epidemic in the US. Our pancreas can only cope with so much before it starts turning foods into fat, and no one seems to be admitting this or trying to rectify the situation. The way the manufacturers see it is that it's the consumers fault, and we should be taking more responsibility for ourselves.

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  • urban planners and architects don't take them through the mc donalds drive through...

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    • I am not saying it s only their fault.
      I am just saying it contributes to it

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    • lmao :P to be 'healthy' yeah u do need exercise but to not be obese doesn't need exercise, just diet.

    • lol yes but look studies have shown that the average human being spends 1 year in his car.
      and so on...
      chances are if you re at least reasonably active, chances are for you getting obese are much less.
      you can t take one effect and neglect the other. diet and exercise goes hand in hand.

  • I don't think so. If people *had* to walk more, they would have chosen the car. Obesity has other reasons in my opinion

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  • Yes. You can hardly walk anywhere in America safely outside of a few well designed cities... Which coincidentally tend to not be as obese.

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