New Report Calls for Complete Streets to Help Prevent Obesity

Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010, a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Adult obesity rates in the United States, from the 2010 F as in Fat report.
Adult obesity rates in the United States, from the 2010 F as in Fat report.

Beyond simply revealing the startling statistics on the racial, ethnic, regional, and income disparities, the report calls on “individuals, families, schools, communities, businesses, government, and every other sector of American society to reduce the barriers to healthy eating and active living.”

Of programs and policies proven to help us get healthier, the report authors include the adoption of Complete Streets policies at the community, state, and federal level. They call upon Congress to prioritize Complete Streets in the federal transportation authorization and note which states have already adopted their own Complete Streets legislation. (Their count is off slightly, as Michigan’s legislation applied only to 2009 projects.) Check our Complete Streets Atlas for a full list of the 140+ communities and agencies that have committed to complete streets.

In adopting Complete Streets policies, communities are better able to provide opportunities for increased physical activity by building safe, accessible places to walk and bike to work, to shops, and to bus and rail stops. It’s working too: regular riders on Charlotte, North Carolina’s light rail are over 6 pounds lighter than their counterparts who regularly drive to work – in large part because they’re walking to and from the stations on safe, attractive, complete streets.

We’ll continue advocate for strong Complete Streets federal legislation and help states, regions, and towns across the country plan, build, and operate networks of complete streets.

Complete Streets