America’s obesity epidemic has been covered to the point of ridiculousness, with much of the blame placed on fast food and lack of exercise. However, having lived in one of the healthiest countries in the world (japan) I can tell you that there are just as many Golden Arches and KFCs in Tokyo as there are in any American city, if not more. Portion size may play a role, but the real difference (in my opinion) is that we Americans have stopped using our bodies as a form of transportation. Living in Tokyo is literally a workout every day. You’re climbing stairs, cycling to the train station, standing on the train. If all that sounds like a lot of work, consider that the average lifespan in Japan is 85, and in the USA its..lower.
This story from NPR discusses how communities may need to change to accommodate the rising number of senior citizen, but the changes they discuss are really good for everyone. Basically it boils down to making our cities and towns walkable and accessible…essentially, letting people use their bodies to get around. Which is on of the main things they are for, after all.