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Governments could do more to tackle obesity

Collaboration between a University of Edinburgh scientist and a Professor at Massey University, Auckland, has show that the environments we live in greatly alter the food choices we make.In their co-edited book, Geographies of Obesity, geoscientists Dr. Jamie Pearce and Prof. Karen Witten urge governments to take action to promote the creation of healthier living spaces.  Pearce and Witten outline different ways that authorities could improve the health of the citizenry, from fruit and vegetable subsidies, to renovating city arrangements so that local parks and shops are close by in all urban neighbourhoods.Pearce said, "People know they should eat well and take exercise but this can be difficult in practice."  He targets ease of unhealthy lifestyles as the major factor contributing to obesity: "All too often fast food is readily available but there is little local access to healthy food, while often the easiest way to get around is by car."Witten and Pearce also support government-sponsored financial incentives, like taxes on fatty foods, to foster good eating habits.  Their book was published in March by Ashgate.
Porter White


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