A public health concern that not only affects the people of Chicago, but the people of America as well, is obesity. Although it is seemingly unrelated to sustainability, it is actually contains many aspects that contributes to the growing obesity problem. I believe that in our city, we can decrease the amount of people suffering from obesity by increasing access to physically active everyday activities, thus increasing more scenic walkways, parks that promote fitness for adults as well as children, and increasing the amount of divvy bike stations and making them more affordable. Also, obtaining our food through healthier practices could contribute to a solution as well.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and it is only getting worse, despite the efforts of organizations in the health professions, the media, and public and mass campaigns displaying the harmful effects that physical inactivity and poor diet can have on a person. According to publichealth.org, another large contributor to obesity is the fact that “inactivity is the new norm” which I find to be true. Today, it is so easy to sit home on your computer or TV rather than to go outside and be active. If the city offered more walkways and parks, maybe people would be more inclined to utilize them and actually go outside. In the article “Physical Activity, Sprawl, and Health” it discusses that these issues “stem from the motor-vehicle-dependent nature of many cities and towns, the lack of safe and attractive places to walk or bike, the rise of new communications technologies such as television and the Internet, and the patterns and pressures of everyday life.”
If we, the city of Chicago, came together in this initiative to promote physical activity, we can possibly reduce the amount of people suffering from obesity and increase sustainability by the creation of these outdoor areas and sustainability of the food we eat here as well. If more people are utilizing the outdoors, they may also open their eyes to other environmental issues, which would increase awareness of these issues and inspire them to become more sustainable in that sense as well.
Frumkin, H. “Urban Sprawl and Public Health.” Public Health Reports 117.3 (2002): 201-17. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Marks, J. B. “Obesity in America: It’s Getting Worse.” Clinical Diabetes 22.1 (2004): 1-2. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
“Obesity in America – PublicHealth.org.” PublicHealth.org. Public Health, 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. <http://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/obesity/>.