News: Is your car making you fat?

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News: Is your car making you fat?

According to a new study, your wheels may be one reason why you’re gaining weight. Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that people who cycle or walk for transportation tend to be slimmer than those who drive.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, looked at commuters in 15 different countries, including Canada, the U.S. and several countries in Europe. The researchers found that the countries with higher numbers of bikers and walkers had lower levels of adult obesity. And guess which countries had slimmer citizens?

"Not surprisingly, the European countries had obesity rates that were half [those] in North America," researcher David Bassett Jr. told the CBC.

Yes, I know we've heard it all before: more exercise leads to less weight gain. Suprise, suprise. But these researchers did not set out to prove that cycling and walking lower obesity rates. Instead, their goal was to prove the health benefits of “active travel”—which would in turn encourage governments to make cities more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

Is your city friendly to cycling and walking? What improvements should be made to make your town more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists?

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