Philadelphia is facing a public health crisis:
- In 2010, 66.3% of adults and 40.7% of children in Philadelphia were overweight or obese.
- Among counties containing one of the largest U.S. cities, Philadelphia County has the highest prevalence of hypertension (34.5%) and heart disease (4.7%), and the second-highest prevalence of obesity (29.3%) and diabetes (10.7%).
- Since 2000, approximately 24,000 Philadelphians have died of diseases caused by poor diet and insufficient physical activity.
- Nearly half of Philadelphia children are overweight or obese and few have opportunities for regular physical activity. One quarter of the City’s children do not get sustained (30 minutes) even once a week.
- On average, 46.9% of children citywide are either overweight or obese.¹
Active transportation can provide a critical source of daily exercise:
“Active commuting to and from school has been associated with an increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and a decrease in body fat in children between 12 and 19 years old.”²
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity for children on most, preferably all days of the week. For children and adolescents, this regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles, reduces the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, and promotes psychological well-being.”³
“In 40 years, the percentage of children using active transportation to get to school has fallen from 48% in 1969 to 13% in 2009.”*