If you want to lose weight, move closer to your food:
A new study from the University of British Columbia shows people who live within a kilometre of a grocery store are half as likely to be overweight, compared to those living in neighbourhoods without grocery stores.
But the study's author, the esteemed Larry Frank, notes that grocery stores are only part of the story.
"It's a marker for other commercial uses, as well, so it's not just grocery stores that matter."
Frank's research has consistently shown that people who live close to a mix of stores and services tend to walk more. So the lesson here isn't to move closer to a grocery store. Instead, we should be looking to foster mixed-use neighborhoods, where more and more people can do some of their errands on foot, rather than being forced to drive for every trip.
This piece originally appeared on the Sightline Institute's blog,The Daily Score
Photo credit: flickr/Jek in the box, Creative Commons License.
I lived within a block of a grocery store for the first time in my life. If there were no cookies in the apartment...I went and got them. I gained 20 pounds.
What about people who live within walking distance of their garden? The first time I went outside and picked my lunch, it was pretty awesome.
We do our main shopping at the superstore which we drive too - mainly because of the quanitiy of shopping being too much to carry home. However, we also have a smaller local store which we use for day to day things if we run out of anything - and we do walk to that one.
This concept could also include kids and school - we live within walking/cycling distance to school, so the kids always either walk or go on their bikes. It's not hard to identify the kids at school who get driven.