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Public Transportation Connected With Reduced Obesity Rates

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Georgia Tech recently released a new study indicating a connection between public transportation and a lower obesity rate. Researchers compared and evaluated county data from 227 counties in 45 states from 2001-2009. They found that when mass transit ridership increased just one percentage point, the obesity rate dropped by 0.473 percent. At the county level, the results indicated that when a certain county’s public transit ridership increased just one percentage point, the obesity rate dropped by 0.221 percent.

It makes sense, considering that public transportation usually involves more physical exercise than conventional commuting. “Instead of just stepping out of the house and into his car, riders need to walk from their home to a bus stop and from their stop to their destination,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a co-author of the study and a Founder Professor of Computer Science at Illinois.

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As Jacobsen highlighted, it will be interesting to see how ridesharing and other alternative transportation methods compare to traditional public transit methods like bus and train services. Only time will tell how these new services will provide an additional health benefit, both at the regional and national levels. At any rate, the new research gives just another reason to opt for public transportation, when and if given the chance.

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News Source: ScienceDaily