Mass Transit Encourages Weight Loss
City planners and citizens alike frequently push for better public transportation. They argue that it can lessen traffic and reduce emissions from cars. Now there’s a new reason to be gung-ho about public transit — it helps make people skinnier. That’s according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Researchers surveyed communities in Charlotte, North Carolina. One survey was done before the city had finished building a new light rail system, and the second was done from 12 to 18 months after the rail’s completion. They asked about the residents’ level of physical activity, body mass and use of public transportation before and after the light rail.
研究人员在北卡罗来纳州夏洛特的社区内进行了调查。在夏洛特市建成新的轻轨之前做了一份调查，接着在轻轨建成后的12 至18 个月内又进行了一份调查。他们询问了市民在轻轨建成前后的身体状况和体重。
Turns out that people who started using light rail to commute had a significant average weight loss over that time —equivalent to about six and a half pounds for a five-foot-five person. The users were also 81 percent less likely to become obese over the time scale surveyed.
结果表明，随着时间推移，使用轻轨通勤的人的平均体重有了明显的下降——一个身高5 英尺5 英寸的人减掉约6.5 磅的体重。使用公共交通工具的人们患上肥胖症的几率降低了81%。
The researchers say that an environment based on mass transit influences health, because rail users are getting walking to and from stops. And since illness is costly, here’s another way public transit saves money.