Who could really use a healthy ride

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byogman
Member
#

By the topic title of course I’m giving a nod to the bike share, but also, just anything really that makes biking more approachable.

Posting because I just saw this: http://synthpopviewer.rti.org/obesity/viewer.html, a pretty granular map of obesity rates. Acknowledging the (relatively pathetic) limitations of BMI, I do think not individually, but in visualizations like this, they do highlight environments likely to be obesogenic.

From the standpoint of serving public good, part is uptake which would be somewhat correlated with green clusters, but another part is who stands to benefit the most which is inarguably correlated with red clusters.

So, my dear squirrel hill already looks pretty healthy even without healthy ride. They’d probably get used there, but from a public health standpoint, the greater payoff is probably elsewhere.

One thing I’d like to see after this visualization (it’s true that I wanted this way anyway, but in a more bike=better way, not in so focused a way) is that having a furnicular or better still, these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trampe_bicycle_lift from the strip to the hill district. If it weren’t for that climb back, the hill, just by its proximity to neat stuff, should be a seriously bike heavy area.

The severe incidence of obesity north of Penn especially east of Washington road is also pretty troubling and I’m not honestly familiar with the situation or roads. but maybe this should be telling us something about say, Stanton, Frankstown and Lincoln.

The most reasonable approach will doubtless vary, but I think what this does is provide additional ammunition to the argument that we need to be removing barriers to active transportation in certain areas where the prospect is not taken seriously today because the agitators for this infrastructure will naturally focus most heavily on their own neck of the woods, which is generally elsewhere. For quality of life reasons, but also, yes, with all the money spent on healthcare in this country, I think it’s also very easy to make the argument that almost anything that isn’t exorbitant and makes some difference to public health pays for itself many times over.

Thoughts? Specific recommendations?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I found my particular spot on the map. I am one blue square surrounded by a lot of red and orange. No surprise; My family is the only one in my neighborhood whose members do not drag a two-ton tin can with them everywhere they go.

But to the question at hand.

I would run this past the people at Black Girls Do Bike. I don’t know of any who participate on this board (much, if at all). But the wholesale red areas on the map would be more instructive to her/them than they are to me. I cannot even pretend to know what to do there or to understand their social situations. She/They might.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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This map is very misleading. Although they claim “we constructed a highly detailed map of obesity across the United States”, I’d argue that they’re faking it. Apparently all they did was take one database of location, “age, gender, income, race, educational attainment, household size, and ethnicity” and another that “provides [US averaged?] estimates of BMI by a number of socio-demographic co-variates such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, and educational attainment” and map the former through the latter. So they don’t have real location-obesity data, just predictions.

If there were two cities with identical geographies and distributions of age, gender, income, race, … but in the second city, everyone weighed twice as much, a map made this way would draw them identically – quite misleading.

http://synthpopviewer.rti.org/obesity/index.html


byogman
Member
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I’m not sure how the sampling worked. In any case I think sitting back and blurring your eyes a bit is probably not a bad thing to account for that. Big red clusters, aim there. I wish we had an overlay of population density.

How that population breaks down along race or income lines isn’t really my angle on things. If someone wants to take it up, I wouldn’t presume to devalue that work, but I also wouldn’t presume a cluster of red dots tells them anything they don’t already know quite well.


byogman
Member
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Oh geeze, thanks Paul, didn’t realize the data was THAT sketchy. I think I’m going to abandon this thread and line of thinking until/unless someone comes out with an actual credible map of the problem.


edmonds59
Participant
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Too hard brain Friday.


Mick
Participant
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A basic problem is that the people who most need exercise might be the people least likely to use a Healthy Bike.

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