• Will Our Kids Have Shorter Lives Than Ours?

    by  • February 12, 2011 • Health • 0 Comments

    The New England Journal of Medicine published a Special Report a few years back that projected that

    “…as a result of the substantial rise in the prevalence of obesity and its life-shortening complications such as diabetes, life expectancy at birth and at older ages could level off or even decline within the first half of this century.”

    Registered dietitian and nutritionist – and Bike Delaware member – Dr. Barbara Boyce puts this in a Delaware context:

    Delaware has a public health problem. More and more children and adults are getting heavier and many are developing diabetes or pre-diabetes. We need to stop the weight gain. According to BRFSS statistics, 27% of adults in Delaware are obese (with a BMI of > 30%). A 2009 report from Delaware Health & Social Services showed that the prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled among Delawareans between 1995 and 2007. At a rate of almost 9% for adults, Delaware has a higher rate of diabetes than the national average.

    “To deal with this public health issue, we need to make it easy and fun to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This includes designing and rebuilding our communities to encourage active lifestyles. People still need to take responsibility for their own health, but communities need to play an active role. Delaware invests heavily in its infrastructure for roads to accommodate cars and trucks. What about more infrastructure for biking and walking? A greater amount of attention and money needs to be given to making our communities healthier so that we can all enjoy a more active lifestyle. Losing just 10% of one’s body weight goes a long ways in terms of improving one’s overall health. As warmer weather approaches and we think more about being outdoors, let’s let our legislators know that we want and need healthier communities so that we can live healthier lives.”


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever. Delaware is now officially ranked as the #3 Bicycle Friendly State in America.

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