More evidence today that living in the suburbs is bad for your health.
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) is reporting that residents of poorer neighbourhoods and the suburbs are more likely to suffer from diabetes.
"In the past four years alone," the report notes, "the number of adults with diabetes has risen by 50,000 in Toronto.
The post-World War II suburbs where residential communities on winding crescents and cul-de-sacs are separated from stores and services by wide busy roads have collectively forced people off the street and into their cars. Just buying a carton of milk means getting behind the wheel and driving to the nearest plaza.
As the report points out, "this phenomenon is even more pronounced in the 905 area cities surrounding Toronto."
The Star quotes study co-author Dr. Rick Glazier:
"If their neighbourhood is just completely unsafe and we're telling them they have to walk a half an hour every day and there's nothing to walk to - there are no sidewalks, the lighting is poor, the snowdrifts pile up - it's not that people aren't motivated, it's that they just can't," said Glazier.
The Star concludes, "In other words, simply telling people to get more exercise and eat healthier foods isn't enough to stem the tide of ill health washing over our city. Living conditions need to change."
We've heard the links between poverty and health before. But it's only now that the links between the sedentary lifestyles of the suburbs and diseases like diabetes are beginning to emerge. This is yet another reason for city planners to pay attention.
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