What if I told you that your freedom of choice is restricted by where you choose to live? In each day and in every moment, you make choices that impact your lifestyle. Many of you are very proud of the fact that you have the freedom of choice. However, inquisitive epigenetic scientists have concluded that it is the environment where you live that regulates your choices and your body (2,5). Your environment is designed to provide convenience, zoned for cluster development, and built to accommodate combustion engines, such as automobiles. These environmental design strategies orchestrates lifestyles that caters to obesity (3).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) characterizes obesity as a preventable disease where an individual has a high level of body mass index (BMI), one that is exceptionally overweight, and a disease that increases the risk of premature death. You have the power to shift your environmental pressures that contribute to obesity. There are simple strategies that may be put into place to improve your health and well-being, guaranteed.
The 20th century has been marred by a massive transformation of the landscape that offer perceived benefits for you and your family, such as convenience, marketing, and a network of transportation avenues. Neighborhoods provide a practical design for luxurious living and convenient municipal services, such as waste treatment and the electrical grid. Commercial zoning creates a central location for grocery stores, fast food restaurants, fueling stations, and public schools. These communities where you live and spend precious time dictates your lifestyle and physical activities.
The 2001 Department of Transportation National Household Travel Survey determined that 70% of children’s excursions occur in cars and that there has been a decline in personal walking activities since 1977. With the sprawl of urban development, cars have become the primary mode of transportation. The choice to partake in physical activities normally involves strategic planning and coordinating schedules. The environmental quality continues to degrade due to hazardous gases released from a massive array of combustion engines that litter the environment.
Combustion engines burn petroleum and release massive amounts of polluting toxic gases into your precious air space. Automobiles, vans and trucks are required to deliver you, products, food, and stuff to the wealth of businesses that compete for your attention. The noisy engines are found in mowers, blowers, and other landscape management tools. One particular toxic gas are cyclic hydrocarbons that have been found to place babies as risk of becoming obese when that pregnant mothers are exposed to this pollutant.
A very basic understanding on how your World is impacting your freedom of choice provides a breakthrough opportunity to redesign your lifestyle and environment to reduce the obesity epidemic. Simple approaches to transforming your World involves co-mingling a rich diversity of exuberant, living, green organisms into your environment and reducing your reliance on combustion engines that drive your lifestyles.
An increase is physical activity is significantly associated with urban landscapes that house greater amounts of green space. “People that live close to green spaces may visit them more frequently and thus increase their time spent in physical activity” (4). The more time spent in stimulating physical activity increases your heart rate variability that reduces the risk of being obese (1).
The choice to design ways of welcoming in a source of healthy green tangible wealth is as vast as the imagination. Create an educational experience in collaboration with schools to fill the indoor and outdoor educational environments with growing food, herbs, and potted science projects. Incorporating green roofs, walls, and highway landscapes provide an abundance of convenient urban benefits, such as sun powered air filtration systems. Invent marketable products that provide a way to increase the urge to move about in a landscape of green eye candy.
Reduce the demand on petroleum fueled combustion engines that taint the extremely valuable air quality essential for your survival. Stewardship watch groups may form to design alternatives to traditional transportation choices and landscape management strategies. Transform your yard into a low maintenance composition of native, edible plant species that are well adjusted to the climate. Line road ways and sidewalks with vertical green powerhouses, fill abandoned areas with mini green forests, and create visual appealing green areas near the living spaces of the elderly and handicapped. Innovate ways to support the needs of your urban infrastructure to reduce the release of hazardous gases and increase the air processing venues.
Recall your freedom of choice to put you in control of how you choose to manage your physical activity and control the release of hazardous gases to prevent obesity. Cost effective approaches that include creating more green space and reducing dependence on combustion engines to manage your life encourages a creative force to reduce obesity. You hold a source of power that is readily available through the power of choice. I challenge to you to make the choice, share your creations, and be a part of the movement towards increased well-being and health.
1 Institute of Heart Math. Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance. An Overview of Research Conducted by the Institute of HeartMath. http://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/entrainment-coherence-autonomic-balance.html
2 Jackson, PhD, Fatimah L.C., Mihai D. Niculescu, MD, PhD, and Robert T. Jackson, PhD. 2013. Conceptual Shifts Needed to Understand the Dynamic Interactions of Genes, Environment, Epigenetics, Social Processes, and Behavioral Choices. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 103:51. Pgs. 533-542.
3 Krisberg, Kim. 2006. Designing heathier communities for kids: Built environment adding to burden of childhood obesity. The Nation’s Health. January/February.
4 United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2013. Eco-Health Relationship Browser. http://www.epa.gov/research/healthscience/browser/index.html
5 Zurich, ETH. 2009. Epigenetics: DNA Isn’t Everything. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090412081315.htm