Pizza Hut or Pizza “Hot” – Iranians are getting fatter. Maybe because they are ignoring public transport.
The statistics show that obesity is growing among Iranian families. According to Dr. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, Minister of Health, only 20 percent of the Iranians do regular sport activities and about 60% of them are overweight. She also has said that 11% of Iranians have diabetes and 12% are in danger of this disease. Such news is spread while 30 minutes daily walking can reduce the danger of diabetes by 50%.
Recently Dr. Fereidoun Azizi the head of the Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences in Tehran had announced that the obesity rate in Iranian families was rising. The result of the research of this institute indicates that the obesity rate in the women is 35 percent and the same factor for men is 15 percent.
While the news and statistics show this worrying fact, fundamental change in transportation and urban planning strategies of the country is not observed.
Here and there some public transit projects, like new Metro stations in Tehran, new metro networks in some other cities, and bicycle routes are under construction. However the general strategy of the country does not show it is supporting pedestrianization and bicycling.
The urban planning and design strategy of Iran is even worse. People use personal cars because the built environment obliges them to do that. This is more visible in the larger cities and metropolitan areas. For example in western parts of Tehran people spend about one hour to reach their work place in the central parts. This time will be quite longer if they use the public transit. Also the difference in comfort of using personal automobiles and public transport should be taken into account.
It seems that improving the urban form and transportation of the larger cities of Iran, in order to improve the public health needs some years. So increasing personal physical movement, doing regular daily sport practices and bicycling needs personal motives. Get on your bikes Iran and start motivating others to do the same.
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