Old 08-18-13, 08:53 PM
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buzzman
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't care much for programs that sell short-trip cycling as a cure for obesity. Sure, it's better to ride a bike a couple of miles than to sit on a motorized couch, but not by much. This sort of oversell seems likely to lead to disappointment and even a bit of backlash as the folks selling the virtues of bicycles lose credibility.

I briefly lived in TX a couple of decades ago. I went in with an open mind and was even seriously looking for a house to purchase. After a very short time, I was so repulsed by the racism and obesity that I decided I would not raise my child in that environment. I'm not exactly small (6'2", 190#), but I dwarfed by the mounds of adipose waddling up and down the grocery aisles. If anyplace has hit rock bottom in terms of diabesity, it must be TX. With only one direction to go, I hope there is some success at thinning the populace.

While my left wing sensibilities have left me with no great appreciation for the "great state of Texas" the arrogant, elitist tone of your post makes me reconsider my liberal standing- I would hate to reek of such condescension. But it's the internet and tone is hard to read and appreciate so perhaps it is I who have judged you too harshly- if so, I apologize.

In any case, I do take issue with your condemnation of "short trip cycling being touted as 'cure' for obesity". There is substantial evidence that even something as simple as removing people's television remote controls, having them take the stairs instead of an elevator, walking to the market or to the subway as opposed to taking a car has a positive effect on their weight and general health. Bicycling for short trips is undoubtedly a positive factor in reducing obesity rates. And it should be part of a more wholistic approach- I don't think anyone in their right mind would automatically and simplistically call it a 'cure' in and of itself.

You can read countless accounts on Bike Forums of people who started biking with small trips around town, partly because it was all they were capable of, and eventually found themselves using the bike to commute or for more transportation and recreation all the while losing considerable amounts of weight and getting healthier.

Do you expect obese people to get out and start riding 50 miles/day and embarking on a rigorous training regimen? They'd give up in no time. IMO, we should be encouraging people to start with something small and manageable like a ride to the grocery store or around the block and let the natural enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment of getting somewhere under their own power do its thing.
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