Study Finds Progress in Fight against Obesity among City School Students

A recent study conducted by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has found a significant decrease in the rates of obesity and severe obesity among Philadelphia school children.

The report did not assess the causes for the decline, but Philadelphia has been promoting policy and programs aimed to address childhood obesity in the city.  The School District offers nutrition education, and removed the sugary drinks from school vending machines.  The City Council passed a trans-fat ban and the nation’s toughest menu labeling law.

Furthermore, new bikes lanes promote active commuting for residents and students in Philadelphia.  The Streets Department has worked hard to install 9.7 miles of bikes lanes, 6.7 miles of buffered bike lanes, 2 miles of Green bike lanes, and 8.9 miles of shared bicycle lanes in Philadelphia, so far.

Commuters use the Bike Lane on Pine Street.
(Photo by KGradiner via Flikr)

Bike lanes are a significant component of Complete Streets, an executive order issued by Mayor Nutter in 2009.  The Complete Streets executive order works in sync with Philadelphia’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which identifies strategies to increase the number and frequency of people walking and bicycling in the city by improving the connectivity, safety, convenience and attractiveness of Philadelphia’s pedestrian and bicycle networks.

Complete Streets are roads designed for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, automobiles, and transit users, which promote safety and equity among the modes.  These streets promote bicycling and walking as a convenient and healthful alternative for active commuting to nearby destinations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Complete Streets as a strategy to prevent obesity.

This report by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health shows that promoting proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are beneficial for Philadelphia.

Read the full report

Learn more about the Philadelphia Pedestrian and Bike Plan

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Philadelphia’s new Complete Streets Design Handbook.



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