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Reuters: Car-driven society poses risk to Americans' health


Commuters during morning rush hour drive into Atlanta, Georgia, May 27, 2009. 

REUTERS/Tami Chappell

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation e-update tipped me off to this interesting Reuters article about the health risks of car dependency.

Car-driven society poses risk to Americans' health

Mon Jun 1, 2009 2:54pm EDT

By Matthew Bigg

ATLANTA (Reuters) - When Seema Shrikhande goes to work, she drives. When she takes her son to school, they drive. And when she goes shopping, to the bank or to visit friends, she gets into her car, buckles up and hits the road.

Driving is a way of life for Americans but researchers say the national habit of driving everywhere is bad for health.

One of the researchers in quoted in the article quantifies the link between driving and health.

"Every additional 30 minutes spent in a car each day translates into a 3 percent greater chance of being obese," he [Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia] said. "People who live in neighborhoods with a mix of shops and businesses within easy walking distance are 7 percent less likely to be obese."

Read the entire article on the Reuters website.