Diabetes was lowest in the most walkable neighborhoods, where incidence fell 7 percent over 10 years, whereas neighborhoods rated least walkable saw a 6 percent rise in diabetes over the same time period. Overweight and obesity, as well, was lowest in the most walkable neighborhoods and fell by 9 percent over 10 years, whereas it rose 13 percent in neighborhoods with the least walkability during that time.Heard a simplified version of this on radio news. My instant response was the old surprisesurprise shockedshocked thing. No shit, Sherlock. No duh. Etc. Then I stopped to think. If you had first asked me to guess whether this connection would show up in statistics, I would have said no. Walkability is a fairly fuzzy concept, and in general the most walkable areas are lower-income areas. Built solely for cars = built solely for rich. So the exercise effect would be more than canceled by income and access to medical care. My guess would be wildly wrong. The total difference, not explicit in the article, is 22%. Down 9 in one place, up 13 in the other. This 22% difference is GENUINELY SURPRISING, and it's life-savingly important information. It means that walking by itself is responsible for considerably MORE than 22% improvement in average health.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.