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Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Moving From "F as in Fat" to "A as in Active"

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report yesterday entitled F as In Fat: How Obesity Affects America’s Future 2010, which tracks state-by-state obesity and overweight statistics. Sadly, Illinois is not doing well. Our adult obesity rate is on the rise and we have the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity and overweight. Over 20% of Illinois children are obese or overweight.

The Foundation points to a number of policy solutions and strategies aimed at increasing physical activity and improving nutrition. Illinois has already enacted a number of the recommended strategies, but our obesity rate will not decline until individuals decide to change unhealthy habits.

That means that parents need to help their children make healthy choices. One easy way to increase physical activity is to encourage kids to walk and bicycle to school. IDOT’s 2010 Safe Routes to School Planning and Application Cycle offers a 100% reimbursement for communities to build sidewalks, crosswalks and other infrastructure and to provide supportive programs, activities, enforcement and education about walking and bicycling.

Also, there is still time to apply for our Walk and Roll to School Day Mini Grant Program. The mini grant provides schools with $500, supplies and promotional materials to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 6. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 2.

Oh, and don't forget to register your Walk and Roll to School Day Event here.