Marion County's adult obesity rate is slightly higher than the state's, at 28 percent, said Kristin Jordan, a nurse educator with Salem Hospital.Our reliance on driving coupled with public and private subsidies for auto use together also provide a suite of disincentives for activity and active transportation.
She said high levels of poverty and unemployment in the county affect people's access to healthy foods and education about healthy lifestyles.
Hopefully policy discussions will soon make the connection between city planning, transportation systems, and obesity. It's not just about choosing a healthy lifestyle off the shelf as if it were another consumer option.
The disincentives are deeply embedded and at present too inconvenient for many.
Instead, it's about making some real structural changes to the way we live.
(Top: Smart Cycling Class, Jeff Leach, Bottom: "Buildable land" on suburban periphery in totally auto-dependent areas.)