Livin’ Large in America

Our sedentary lives may be the culprit of obesity.

| November-December 2001

For years, researchers have pointed to America’s fast food diet and our love affair with television to explain why we’re becoming an obese nation. But a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may finger a new culprit: the suburbs.

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As James Langton reports in the London Telegraph, researchers at the agency suspect Americans don’t walk enough. To prove their thesis, they plan to equip 800 people in the Atlanta area with satellite tracking devices to see how much they walk each day. While most adults consume only about 100 calories a day more (and less fat) than they did 20 years ago, Langton writes, they’re less and less likely to get out of their cars. “The problem now seems to be a way of life so sedentary that it involves little more than a few steps between the home, driveway, and office,” Langton observes.

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