Obesity and Design

I remember when I was teaching undergraduate commerce students in my first year at Roads and we had an interesting discussion around rising obesity rates and many of my students associated obesity with negative personal traits. I asked them to ‘deconstruct’ the issue, where there structural reasons for higher rates today than in previous generations? One can quickly look to the rise of fast food outlets, and now with drive through ordering, and calories from fast food tends to be less nutrient dense and contain more calories. A researcher, Elizabeth Kristjanson, in the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, has shown that there is a definite link between the number of fast food places in a neighbourhood and obesity, and people who live in a neighbourhood with small, specialty food stores are slimmer. And there may be a correlation between walkability, access to year round local food markets, green space and diversity of recreational spaces. So, it is all a question of deliberative design for health, are our municipal governments capable of this kind of leadership?

One response to “Obesity and Design

  1. Hi Ann – Please check out the new green planning exercise that the City of Ottawa has initiated at the following link:

    http://choosingourfuture.ca/index_en.html

    Municipalities understand the needs you specify, but I’m not sure municipalities want to interfere with the fast food business can of worms (!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s