On ‘Exercise Deserts’ and Physical Activity Disparities

Just has D.C. as food deserts, it’s also home to “exercise deserts,” neighborhoods where it’s difficult to access recreational opportunities. Low-income communities may have plenty of parks and recreation centers, but it doesn’t mean people are able to take advantage of them.

A new Express series, “Standing Still’s Not A Choice,” explores D.C.’s physical activity disparities and how some people are overcoming them. The problem is about more than simply trimming waistlines — 15 percent of deaths in the District are related to obesity-related, Express reports.

Just 8.9 percent of white residents are obese, while 34.9 percent of black residents are. Those with less than a high school education are nearly three times as likely to be obese as college grads. The same goes for income level — 38.5 percent of people making $15,000 or less are obese, compared with 13.1 percent of those earning $75,000 or more.

Unfortunately, none of these statistics came as a surprise to the DOH’s then-director, Pierre Vigilance, who recognizes them as a reflection of nationwide problems. “Poverty affects not only your time, but it also may affect your energy level,” says Vigilance, now a visiting professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Read more at: www.expressnightout.com