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s/o Death by diet....How do we stop it?


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#151 leeannpal

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:38 PM

Part of the problem with diet is the results of poor eating/lifestyle doesn't show up till 40ish/50ish.  Sure, people feel better with a better diet, more exercise, better sleep but life altering health effects aren't seen until the 50 year old is hospitalized for that non healing leg ulcer that turns out to be uncontrolled diabetes and a few months later winds up with an amputation. typically, most are able to control any health issues with a few pills until the heart attack, stroke, amputation occurs after 40, 50, 60 years of crappy diet.   Even then, the majority won't make changes.  Because at that point, they are defeated.    Try telling a 50 year old without a leg if only they would control their diet and eat better............It's too late. 

 

Most people just don't think about the effects until it is too late.  We have an idea of invincible I'll never be sick or die attitude until bamm, we are sick from stuff that could have been prevented with the right diet. 

 

I don't have any answers.   Getting people to make the connection between diet and health issues is hard.

 

If all those things you mentioned were just caused by poor eating habits, I might agree somewhat with what you are saying. However, overall health isn't that simple. There are numerous factors besides diet that can have an impact on your health including, exercise or lack thereof, heredity and hormones. And some people eat a poor diet their entire lives an never suffer from health issues. I agree that eating healthier in general is a good things, but the 50 year old with diabetes and an amputated leg might have also have inherited the tendency to have diabetes or have had other issues that contributed to the loss of the leg such as a smoking habit. 


Edited by leeannpal, 13 February 2018 - 06:41 PM.

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#152 creekland

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:54 PM

I KNOW it doesn't work for everyone, esp since I have a "thin as a rail and eats extremely healthy foods" younger than me friend/co-worker who has Type II diabetes (and beat bc), but diet can help at least with diabetes.  My whole extended family has it and is extremely overweight eating essentially a "wrong" diet (few fruits or veggies and a lot of plain white bread or similar).  I saw that in my youth and opted to pay attention to the "better for avoiding diabetes" diets (mostly, I still allow one regular sugar caffeinated soda per day, though will stop when blood numbers tell me to).  I have yet to get it, but have remained "borderline" since my teens (prior to soda which was introduced by a college roomie).

 

My mom's diabetes numbers went to 100% better (stop the injected insulin) once she found out she had cancer and cancer feeds on sugars, so adjusted her diet majorly.  She "got" her Type II diabetes when pregnant with me (or so she says - no reason to disbelieve her).

 

I had thought I was genetically doomed with it coming from everyone on my mom and dad's side.  Now I'm really thinking ours is mostly caused by diet (and a susceptibility genetically for it).  My own kids were raised with soda, but have opted to go even farther than me and stay away from that too.  Yea for them!

 

None of us are health food fanatics.  We all have the occasional splurge "just because" or when we are out with others, but having our regular diet being mostly healthy seems to make a ton of difference health-wise with diabetes.


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#153 Bluegoat

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:17 PM

I don't know about this thing about not working for everyone.

 

Sure, there are people who are unusual, and some who are really unusual.

 

But lots of societies with very homogeneous diets, where people all eat pretty much the same thing as everyone else, and often the sae thing every day, have had far far fewer diet related problems than we do.

 

I don't think finding a standard diet that would be much better for almost everyone is really the hard part.


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#154 Supertechmom

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:25 PM

It isn't as simple as diet change as all that you mentioned plays a role in personal health.  We all know outliers..... the 102 who survived on 4 eggs a day with his daily gin and tonic and cigar and is still rattling around perfectly fine, the 36 year old who did everything right and had awesome numbers and dropped dead.

 

    But for the majority of us and the chronic conditions - heart disease, diabetes (type 2), obesity - they are diet/exercise controlled and preventable and can be checked,stopped  or even turned around.  It isn't easy and given genetics and hormones can be downright difficult (says the menopausal Supertechmom trying to lose 50 lbs) but changing my diet, eating healthy, cutting chemicals from my foods and eating "real" food goes a long way in normalizing and lowering many blood numbers, weight and health risks.  Maybe I work with a special group of surgeons but everyone of them fusses at their pts if they see them eating fast food, drinking sodas, or eating anything that you couldn't have possibly grown/raised in your backyard (given the time/money/resources).  They fuss at us too!  


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#155 Greta

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:28 PM

People take buses 15+ miles to work and school everyday. I'd rather live in the suburbs because in my city there is statistically less crime out in the suburbs. Those "walkable" streets in the city core aren't walkable unless you like getting stabbed, shot, robbed or harassed. Daytime is fine, but it's dark by 4pm in the winters here. And for some reason the stabbings and shootings still continue in the winter.


Oh, yeah, I totally get that! Like I mentioned, that’s exactly why we bought in the suburbs, because our city is unsafe. But even for people who commute into the city but live in the suburbs, the suburbs *could* be designed to be more walkable for the other things we need to do. ETA: and most cities are safer than ours, so I don’t think safety is always the deciding factor.

Edited by Greta, 13 February 2018 - 11:13 PM.


#156 Frances

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:03 PM

I think the other thing that is harder to pin down, largely because of our assumptions about property, is that people need to be able to find homes near to where they work.

If that was kept in mind, city planning would look rather different, but it wouldn't actually be that hard to do.

But at least in the US, many people choose not to live near where they work for a variety of reasons, but having land seems to be a big one. Being able to walk to work is a huge priority for me and my husband, but I actually don’t find very many people who share that priority when they have the option. I mainly hear about wanting it from people who have no choice because they are in very large, metropolitan areas where they are constrained by housing prices in choosing where they live.
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#157 Serenade

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:05 PM


Another piece of this I found interesting was my husband was looking at obesity data for his research not long ago by year. There was a massive spike in obesity from about 1998 to 2000. Looking at this highly statistically significant spike in data made me realize that this was the period of time most people acquired the Internet within their homes.

 

I've only read the first page of this thread, so I don't know if anyone else addressed this, but it was around that time that the powers-that-be changed the weight classifications.  Overnight, people who were previously "normal" were moved into the "overweight" category, and "overweight" people were moved into the "obese" category.  My husband and I laughed, because he was so thin, and the changes put him within 5 pounds of the "overweight" category.   I really wish I would remember more details, and when exactly this change was made and who implemented it.  (If anyone here knows, please post.). At the time, many people complained because they felt that by putting more people into the overweight category, the people who were really overweight were going to have resources diluted.   I will say, that reclassification of weight greatly affected me.  It seemed so stupid, that overnight somebody would essentially be moved from one category to another, even though nothing changed.  I think that is when I stopped following my weight, and said the heck with it.  It all seemed so arbitrary to me. 


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#158 Frances

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:17 PM

I've told my husband that my dream house is within easy walking distance of three things: a park, a library, and a grocery store with good produce. (Throw in a tea house and a vegetarian restaurant, and I'd be in absolute heaven! :D ) We did not use those criteria to choose our current location. We chose safety (high-crime city, so that was important) and good school district, which we ended up not using! If I had it to do over again, I would make a very different choice.

We got so lucky when we chose our current house almost twenty years ago. Our main criteria at the time was walking distance to my husband’s job so we could continue to be a one car family. We’ve each had two jobs since then and could walk to all of them. We’re also within walking distance of everything else we could possible need - library, groceries, numerous parks and biking trails, swimming spots for our dog, hospital, dentist, college, theaters, and many restaurants and shops. I often go several weeks without driving a car and it is wonderful.
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#159 Greta

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:21 PM

We got so lucky when we chose our current house almost twenty years ago. Our main criteria at the time was walking distance to my husband’s job so we could continue to be a one car family. We’ve each had two jobs since then and could walk to all of them. We’re also within walking distance of everything else we could possible need - library, groceries, numerous parks and biking trails, swimming spots for our dog, hospital, dentist, college, theaters, and many restaurants and shops. I often go several weeks without driving a car and it is wonderful.


It sounds wonderful!!! Now if you tell me that your community is also safe and affordable, be prepared to have me as your new neighbor! :lol:
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#160 Tanaqui

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:23 PM

Those "walkable" streets in the city core aren't walkable unless you like getting stabbed, shot, robbed or harassed.

 

Um, that's not an accurate picture of modern American cities.


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#161 Frances

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:34 PM

It sounds wonderful!!! Now if you tell me that your community is also safe and affordable, be prepared to have me as your new neighbor! :lol:

Safe, definitely. Affordable depends on your basis for comparison. There are certainly more expensive places to live here in the PNW, but definitely also cheaper ones. You’re certainly welcome to visit anytime. :)
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#162 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:37 PM

We got so lucky when we chose our current house almost twenty years ago. Our main criteria at the time was walking distance to my husband’s job so we could continue to be a one car family. We’ve each had two jobs since then and could walk to all of them. We’re also within walking distance of everything else we could possible need - library, groceries, numerous parks and biking trails, swimming spots for our dog, hospital, dentist, college, theaters, and many restaurants and shops. I often go several weeks without driving a car and it is wonderful.

 

Sometimes I wonder where people live when they talk about walkability of cities.

 

Some of the things you describe here are not even within reasonable driving distance to many people.  There are many parts of the country where swimming spots for PEOPLE are not within reasonable driving distance, let alone swimming spots for a dog.  In many places, there is a single hospital for an entire county and it takes an hour to drive to it.  I am aware of a single college in my entire county and although I happen to live within walking distance to it (well, if walking distance is 3.5 miles one way,) most people in the area just don't.  There is a small local grocery store next to the college, so also "within walking distance" but since it costs SO MUCH more to shop there, I drive to the next ones.  But in most of the outer areas......even getting to the store that is 7 miles from me can take like 45 minutes or more of driving to get to for many people for whom those are the closest stores.


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#163 Pawz4me

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:39 PM

I've only read the first page of this thread, so I don't know if anyone else addressed this, but it was around that time that the powers-that-be changed the weight classifications. Overnight, people who were previously "normal" were moved into the "overweight" category, and "overweight" people were moved into the "obese" category. My husband and I laughed, because he was so thin, and the changes put him within 5 pounds of the "overweight" category. I really wish I would remember more details, and when exactly this change was made and who implemented it. (If anyone here knows, please post.). At the time, many people complained because they felt that by putting more people into the overweight category, the people who were really overweight were going to have resources diluted. I will say, that reclassification of weight greatly affected me. It seemed so stupid, that overnight somebody would essentially be moved from one category to another, even though nothing changed. I think that is when I stopped following my weight, and said the heck with it. It all seemed so arbitrary to me.


There’s a bit about the change in the Wiki article on body mass index. And yes, it was in 1998 that the changes went into effect, after the CDC and National Institutes of Health decided to bring the US into agreement with WHO’s BMI classifications. The article says that 29 million people went from healthy to overweight when the threshold for normal weight was lowered from a BMI of 27:8 to 25.

Edited by Pawz4me, 13 February 2018 - 09:41 PM.

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#164 Frances

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:42 PM

Sometimes I wonder where people live when they talk about walkability of cities.

Some of the things you describe here are not even within reasonable driving distance to many people. There are many parts of the country where swimming spots for PEOPLE are not within reasonable driving distance, let alone swimming spots for a dog. In many places, there is a single hospital for an entire county and it takes an hour to drive to it. I am aware of a single college in my entire county and although I happen to live within walking distance to it (well, if walking distance is 3.5 miles one way,) most people in the area just don't. There is a small local grocery store next to the college, so also "within walking distance" but since it costs SO MUCH more to shop there, I drive to the next ones. But in most of the outer areas......even getting to the store that is 7 miles from me can take like 45 minutes or more of driving to get to for many people for whom those are the closest stores.


I live in the capitol, but not the largest city, in my PNW state. My sister lives in a similarly walkable location in a Midwest college/university/healthcare system town of 50,000. Since my husband used to be in academia, college towns were the only option for us when we were first married.

#165 EmilyGF

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:11 PM

Sometimes I wonder where people live when they talk about walkability of cities.

 

Some of the things you describe here are not even within reasonable driving distance to many people.  There are many parts of the country where swimming spots for PEOPLE are not within reasonable driving distance, let alone swimming spots for a dog.  In many places, there is a single hospital for an entire county and it takes an hour to drive to it.  I am aware of a single college in my entire county and although I happen to live within walking distance to it (well, if walking distance is 3.5 miles one way,) most people in the area just don't.  There is a small local grocery store next to the college, so also "within walking distance" but since it costs SO MUCH more to shop there, I drive to the next ones.  But in most of the outer areas......even getting to the store that is 7 miles from me can take like 45 minutes or more of driving to get to for many people for whom those are the closest stores.

I live in a big city (community developed between 1880s and 1920s).

 

I live within .5 mile of the library, school, train, bus, Wal-greens, Walmart (!!!), Dunkin Donuts, restaurants, etc etc. Hubby bikes to work. I walk to dentist, bike to doctor. Great grocery (not just city Walmart) within .75 mi. Multiple parks within .5 mile.

 

I live in my multi-story attached house with 5 kids. My neighbors love my kids - and my kids love my neighbors.

 

ETA: The biggest draw for me (and why we won't consider moving to a cheaper neighborhood for more house) is that my kids have a ton of freedom since they can walk to all these places, too. And to their friends' houses. (And soon, for my oldest, to the bus to go downtown.)

 

Emily


Edited by EmilyGF, 13 February 2018 - 10:12 PM.

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#166 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:13 PM

I live in the capitol, but not the largest city, in my PNW state. My sister lives in a similarly walkable location in a Midwest college/university/healthcare system town of 50,000. Since my husband used to be in academia, college towns were the only option for us when we were first married.

 

You know, interesting that you bring up "college towns."  My kid lives in a college town in the midwest.  And it actually is really walkable in terms of several of the things you talk about, for example.  But....most of the county outside the town isn't really.  I think college towns are a thing to look at, a thing of their own, in terms of looking at walkability.  College towns often specifically cater to the students of the university that inhabits the town.  And, a large number of college students DON'T have vehicles.  So if businesses in a college town want to capitalize on the large numbers of students with money to burn but no vehicle to get there....they have to locate themselves within walking distance of the school and surrounding living situations. 

 

The enrollment at my DD's college is only about 10k smaller than the entire population of the small city I live in.  (which is about 20k smaller than the small city of 50k you mention.)  Millions of people around the country live in these types of small cities.


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#167 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:19 PM

I live in a big city (community developed between 1880s and 1920s).

 

I live within .5 mile of the library, school, train, bus, Wal-greens, Walmart (!!!), Dunkin Donuts, restaurants, etc etc. Hubby bikes to work. I walk to dentist, bike to doctor. Great grocery (not just city Walmart) within .75 mi. Multiple parks within .5 mile.

 

I live in my multi-story attached house with 5 kids. My neighbors love my kids - and my kids love my neighbors.

 

ETA: The biggest draw for me (and why we won't consider moving to a cheaper neighborhood for more house) is that my kids have a ton of freedom since they can walk to all these places, too. And to their friends' houses. (And soon, for my oldest, to the bus to go downtown.)

 

Emily

I honestly can't comprehend those distances.  I also can't comprehend having ACCESS to a "bus" or "train", let alone having them within a half mile of the house!  The place we currently live in has a neighborhood school (which is currently a K-2 building) within .5 miles....it's actually honestly the closest I have ever lived to anything other than another house in my life that I can recall.  And, the neighborhood is large enough that there are parts of it that are almost closer to a mile away from the school.  Within the neighborhood. 



#168 regentrude

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:30 PM

I live in a small city of 20k people. Our top priority for the choice of house was biking distance to work for DH. We are in walking distance from the schools: 0.6 m to the elementary, 1 mi to the middle school, 1.5 miles to the high school. However, we were the only family from our street to walk to elementary school - everybody else drove the half mile (and no, these were not parents en route to work, but SAHMs who then turned around and drove the half mile back home.)

When we moved here, there were no other cyclists to be seen; now it's a few more.

It's a 45 minute walk to work, I only do that when it has snowed. But I have no excuse for not biking other than my own laziness. 

 

Lots of people choose to live out in the country because they have different priorities.

 

 



#169 frogger

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:36 PM

I grew up in western Canada, and all my extended family lived on farms. They certainly weren't biking and walking to town very often. The distances were either too great or it was too cold. Plus they were transporting things to town or from town. People were active from working on the farm, participating in physical activities like hockey and curling in the winter, riding/rodeo and baseball/softball in the summer. And the number of restaurants and donut shops in town was much less.

In the cities where I've lived in Canada, I've walked, biked, taken public transportation or driven. Again, weather is a huge factor. It's often too cold and dangerous to walk or bike in the winter. Even though there are a lot of bike paths and sidewalks, they don't always get cleared from ice and snow sufficiently to be safe and accessible. Public transportation has the same issues with snow and ice. There are long delays, long waits for busses, and the cost of public transport isn't easily affordable for everyone, either.

It's not just being "forced" to put away the car that is going to save people from obesity. It's choices people are making about the food they eat, and the amount they move their bodies.


Nobody is saying farmers need to bike to town and tow back their seed back home. The original comment was that cities, that's right cities need to be more walkable.

I live in Alaska and I cringe at the people moaning and groaning about how fast the roads are plowed, sanded, and that there is never enough of them and then complain about taxes. Meanwhile people in California are paying more for their roads then they are.

My husbands cholesterol dropped to the mid normal range mostly from biking to work. It's probably great for his heart that he isn't dealing with pathetic drivers every night either. He gets home happy rather than angry. Did I mention we live in Alaska? His commute was 20 miles each way but he changed jobs and it's only 14 now. I don't think everyone should have to do that but I do think if more people did especially those who live in town closer to their work, the attitudes would change towards side walk clearing etc. It wouldn't just be the poor, the elderly, or other disadvantaged folks that have to climb a snow bank to push the cross walk button or wait for a bus.

We also still get to use our vehicle when neccessary. We don't have to haul lumber home on bikes when building something and I don't have my daughter bike to orchestra hauling her harp in sub zero temperatures. :) Making streets more user friendly for everyone doesn't force everyone to give up their car. The people being forced currently is everyone not barricaded in a vehicle. When you can't cross a road for fear of being killed then that feels a little more like being forced. You are forced to drive an expensive new vehicle, preferably with every safety feature possible so people can race around while looking at their phones.

Edited by frogger, 13 February 2018 - 10:42 PM.

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#170 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:38 PM

I live in a small city of 20k people. Our top priority for the choice of house was biking distance to work for DH. We are in walking distance from the schools: 0.6 m to the elementary, 1 mi to the middle school, 1.5 miles to the high school. However, we were the only family from our street to walk to elementary school - everybody else drove the half mile (and no, these were not parents en route to work, but SAHMs who then turned around and drove the half mile back home.)

When we moved here, there were no other cyclists to be seen; now it's a few more.

It's a 45 minute walk to work, I only do that when it has snowed. But I have no excuse for not biking other than my own laziness. 

 

Lots of people choose to live out in the country because they have different priorities.

 

Within our current district, the upper elementary, middle school, and high school are all located right near each other within the same small 1 mile ish block.  But the school in our neighborhood is 3.6 miles from the rest of them.  And, ALL K-2 students in the district go to this school.  So for us, it's within walking distance.  For people who are 5 miles west of the rest of the schools, they are some 8+ miles away from their kid's kindergarten.

 

In the area we used to live...we lived 6 miles from the high school.  THe high school was another 2 miles away from the middle schools....both of them which were next to each other....so we were 8 miles from the middle school.  We actually happened to be about 4 miles from the elementary DD22 went to....but when our neighborhood was rezoned, we would have had to have driven PAST that elementary school, to attentd the new one like 8 miles away. 

 

And we didn't live in the country in our old area....we lived in the suburbs.  It actually took LESS time to drive to Downtown Indianapolis than it did to drive to DD22's high school. 
 



#171 Julie Smith

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:40 PM

Some countries do have a version of a "fat tax" 

https://en.wikipedia...i/Fat_tax#Japan

 

Poor diet is a mix of a lot of things...in my social circle it's an expression of freedom...the idea that I'll do what I want, eat and drink what I want, regardless of the consequences.  It's not just the food, its the other medical advice.  And its aided by not having to pay the bill.  So my solution is that the bill is paid by those who make the choice.  I'm not alone in that, many companies are surcharging employees who are overweight/obese if they aren't working towards a healthy weight.  I'd add to that with a tax on junk food and alcohol.  Plain fact is they aren't all overeating...they have plenty of social going on and they are adding a lot of liquid calories while socializing..then passing the bill for the consequences on, har de har har.

 


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#172 Χάρων

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:42 PM

Um, that's not an accurate picture of modern American cities.


You are correct, and it says more about the person who holds that view than anything else.
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#173 Julie Smith

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:00 PM

One thing I remember as a kid was all these little old ladies hauling purchases around in tallish basket pull carts that held maybe 2-4 grocery bags worth of stuff.  They would struggle to pull them up the hills and tall stairs to their homes, but they were independentish.  I don't even know where to get something like that now.  So that does kind of cramp my walk to shop style--I'm limited to what I can carry.  Luckily those Ikea totes came out and they are very sturdy and hold a lot of stuff.

 

I walk everywhere.

 

I use to use one of those cart things, but I now use a hiking backpack. I LOVE that bag. In our house it is called, "The Bag of Supreme Awesomeness" I can hold lots of food. It even has what I call, "cup holders" at the side that can fit waterbottles or in winter it's where I stash my hat and mitts when I am indoors. 

 

I


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#174 MBM

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:24 PM

We rarely take our car to the grocery stores which are all within a few blocks. Much easier to walk.

IKEA sells a foldable rolly cart for not too much. It only holds one bag plus a little more. Does the trick for me but usually I just use a large tote that I can carry over my shoulder.

#175 Frances

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:30 PM

I live in a big city (community developed between 1880s and 1920s).

I live within .5 mile of the library, school, train, bus, Wal-greens, Walmart (!!!), Dunkin Donuts, restaurants, etc etc. Hubby bikes to work. I walk to dentist, bike to doctor. Great grocery (not just city Walmart) within .75 mi. Multiple parks within .5 mile.

I live in my multi-story attached house with 5 kids. My neighbors love my kids - and my kids love my neighbors.

ETA: The biggest draw for me (and why we won't consider moving to a cheaper neighborhood for more house) is that my kids have a ton of freedom since they can walk to all these places, too. And to their friends' houses. (And soon, for my oldest, to the bus to go downtown.)

Emily


Yes, this. It made such a huge difference in our lives, especially when I went back to work. My son could walk to karate, friends’ houses, the library, both of our work places, the swimming pool, the YMCA, his university classes, the public access TV station where he volunteered, and when he was an older teen, the Amtrak station to catch the train to nearby cities to visit friends. My husband and I both had this kind of freedom growing up in small Midwest towns, although we tended to bike rather than walk except during the winter, and are very thankful our son was able to have it in a much larger city.
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#176 AimeeM

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:49 PM

I don't know about this thing about not working for everyone.

 

Sure, there are people who are unusual, and some who are really unusual.

 

But lots of societies with very homogeneous diets, where people all eat pretty much the same thing as everyone else, and often the sae thing every day, have had far far fewer diet related problems than we do.

 

I don't think finding a standard diet that would be much better for almost everyone is really the hard part.

 

Most societies with homogeneous diets are, well, homogeneous societies in general -- no?

 

I'm not a scientist by any means, but I would think it stands to reason that for the same reason some people remain healthy (and of a healthy weight) eating crap foods, the reverse can be said and that same crap food diet can cause another a host of health problems. And there are some people who lose weight easily on a certain diet, while others have to try different diet after different diet to find one that works.

 

My FIL ate the same Fried-Fish-Friday, Spaghetti-and-Meatballs-Monday, Lasagna-'Til-It's-Gone, Genuine-Philadelphia-Soft-Pretzels-On-a-Regular, Corner-Sub-Shop-Cheesesteak diet that my DH ate growing up. DH is diabetic and overweight -- my FIL passed away in his mid-80's weighing in at no more than 90 lbs sopping wet. 

 

And, no, I can't believe that any one standard diet will work for everyone. For example, someone who is much more active than I am would need to intake more calories and carbs -- it's one of the primary reasons for those "calculators" put out by the different "diets." Age, amount of routine energy exerted, and genetics absolutely have to be factored in. 


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#177 wintermom

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:02 AM

Um, that's not an accurate picture of modern American cities.

 

I'm talking about the reality of the Canadian city I live in right now. It's gotten a lot worse from when I moved here 25 years ago. Back when I first arrived, I lived in the downtown core and walked around just fine. Now there are daily stabbings and both men and women are harassed on the streets on a regular basis in the evenings. It's not a problem in the day when office workers are around, but it's not exactly fun at night. I wouldn't want to live down there anymore. 


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#178 eternalsummer

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:03 AM

When we were poor, fresh produce never went to waste.  If we had green beans, or apples, it was a Very Good Day and everyone ate them right up.  

 

We were too poor for packaged foods.  Calorie-for-calorie, they are more expensive than rice and beans.  What we could afford was largely rice and beans, and homemade bread, and homemade popcorn on the stove with oil (the oil was caloric).  Biscuits and sometimes eggs for breakfast, peanut butter and bread for lunch, beans for dinner.  Once a week we bought a salmon and a salad to take to DH's grandmother at her nursing home/apartment thing, and that was something we saved for all week and occasionally borrowed money to do.  when we couldn't do that, we did lentils and salad (about half the time).  Salad was a head of lettuce and green onions - she kept dressing in her apt.

 

We could have lived without the salmon but boy was it tasty.

 

When we were splurging we'd buy eggs, canned salmon, and crackers and make salmon croquettes.

 

There was no money in the budget for prepared packaged foods - they are not cheaper than whole foods, they just aren't.

 

Now, eating that way does rely on having a working stovetop and ideally oven (for the bread).  It is also zero fun.  Once DD was in public kindergarten, I felt I had to send food that looked good enough to keep up appearances, so I spent a fair amount of money we didn't really have on pretzels and bags of mini-carrots (which she didn't like) and sandwich bread.  Every day she took a peanut butter sandwich, pretzels, and carrots.  The good thing about the carrots was that they looked like I was sending a veg., but she hated them, so she'd bring them home and I'd send them again for 2 or 3 more days until I just ate them at home and sent new carrots.  I thought that was pretty genius.  It would have been much cheaper and probably healthier to send beans and rice but I didn't want to ostracize her or hear from the K teacher or CPS.


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#179 eternalsummer

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:06 AM

When we lived in the Midwest, nearish to regentrude, no one walked to school.  We all walked when I was a kid (same school, same neighborhood) but by the time DD was in K, everyone drove.  Two blocks from school and people would drive - and wait in a car line 3 blocks long!  They'd have to drive past the school just to get in line for the car pickup.  When I was a kid, we all walked if the weather was decent, and I lived a mile from the school.

 

Here in Colorado, people do walk.  The whole neighborhood near the local elementary walks.  It's not a mile, but at least they aren't driving 2 blocks.  They also get out more on trails and etc. as far as I can see - but then, there are more places to get out and walk here, so that helps.


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#180 wintermom

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:10 AM

You are correct, and it says more about the person who holds that view than anything else.

 

What are you suggesting it says? My dh works downtown and walks right by some rather iffy streets everyday. He says that his women co-workers aren't thrilled about this location either.  So he's lying, or what? You think a 6'1" large man trained in martial arts is afraid of his shadow? 

 

When is the last time you walked alone in the downtown streets of a major city at night? 


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#181 Tanaqui

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:18 AM

When is the last time you walked alone in the downtown streets of a major city at night?

 

Last week. And you can't find a more major North American city than NYC. Care to try again?


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#182 wintermom

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:25 AM

Last week. And you can't find a more major North American city than NYC. Care to try again?

 

What can I say. I guess everyone is nice and slim in your city then. There are no cars, and everyone walks. The rest of us nobs must be doing something wrong.


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#183 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:44 AM

I don't know about this thing about not working for everyone.

 

Sure, there are people who are unusual, and some who are really unusual.

 

But lots of societies with very homogeneous diets, where people all eat pretty much the same thing as everyone else, and often the sae thing every day, have had far far fewer diet related problems than we do.

 

I don't think finding a standard diet that would be much better for almost everyone is really the hard part.

I dunno, maybe the outliers die young or something.


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#184 katilac

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:02 AM

Two blocks from school and people would drive - and wait in a car line 3 blocks long!  They'd have to drive past the school just to get in line for the car pickup.   

 

 

School pickup lines are a spectacular piece of modern insanity. During dd's brief foray into kindergarten, we lived too far away to walk, but no way on earth was I sitting in that pickup line. I just parked the car a few blocks away and walked from there. Her poor teacher was so confused. "I don't have her listed as a walker." So I'd try to explain, and she'd look more confused, and I'd end up like, does it matter? You have her sitting outside regardless of whether I walk up or drive up! Walking for ten minutes each way rather than sitting in a running car (because deep south) for 30+ minutes was just beyond her comprehension. 


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#185 frogger

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:17 AM

Last week. And you can't find a more major North American city than NYC. Care to try again?


Well, NYC is a lot bigger than the city I live in (or right outside of depending on your definition) but our crime rate is worse. Crime and city size aren't directly related. The last list I saw of cities with the worst crime rates didn't include New York even if it included my city even though I wouldn't even call our city a major city. :(
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#186 Sk8ermaiden

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:24 AM

Since I've made my way through this whole thread now, I wanted to add that down here in my slice of Texas (land of sprawl), walkable communities have become a marker of the upper middle class. The new master-planned communities being built in the suburbs have beautiful city centers and wonderful, safe trails to get you to them. The houses in those neighborhoods go for major money, and all the venues in the city centers are high end. 

The older, in-town walkable areas command some of the highest prices in the city. So it's pretty obvious to me that walkability is desirable to most, but no one wants to provide it unless you can pay. $$$$

 

It's a shame, because most places I visit in a week are within 5 miles of my house, and I could bike, but it's extremely dangerous. We'd need raised pedestrian bridges and sidewalk installation; I don't think reforming the actual traffic is possible here (within a generation anyway). I'd gladly pay a little extra in taxes for infrastructure. 


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#187 Χάρων

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:31 AM

What are you suggesting it says? My dh works downtown and walks right by some rather iffy streets everyday. He says that his women co-workers aren't thrilled about this location either. So he's lying, or what? You think a 6'1" large man trained in martial arts is afraid of his shadow?

When is the last time you walked alone in the downtown streets of a major city at night?


I was walking around the streets in the heart if downtown in a major city this evening at 11:30pm. I guess it is technically, yesterday now. I was within a few blocks of an alley where a significant amount of drug sales happen, and I have frequently walked right past said alley. I usually am out after midnight when I run (downtown) which is 3-4 times a week when the weather permits. Never had a problem.

Late one night I had a horrible stomache ache so I grabbed a bus to a convience store for a 7-up. I ended up leaving right before a man and when he realized we were both headed the same way he announced himself and said he was going to the bus stop and sped up to go around me so I would not feel as though he was following me.

#188 MBM

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:55 AM

I live in Chicago and Evanston and have had my purse snatched once in the Loop at noon at McDonalds while holding it and another time someone attempted to steal it in front of the old Bergdorf on Michigan.

There are certain areas I won’t go, period, because the crime is often serious and unpredictable. Other places I won’t travel to at night. South Evanston/North Chicago does see a number of shootings and knifings, sometimes random. A year ago, a med student was robbed and knifed while walking with two friends on Sheridan Rd, a major street, in Chicago near Loyola. It was fatal. There are serious crimes committed nightly and even during the day in those areas. Even today in Chicago, a police officer was fatally shot in the head in the Loop at 2 pm at the Thompson Center.

My best friend was murdered in NYC when she walked home around 11 pm. Murdered for the $26 in her purse. Crime occurs there, too.

You can’t protect yourself all of the time, but I don’t give a flying fig if someone is offended that I might choose not to travel through areas I feel are unsafe.
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#189 lovelearnandlive

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:22 AM

Home Ec, shop, and other such classes fell into disrepute because they were gender segregated.

It's hard to imagine how to start them up again.  They require expertise and equipment and those are hard to come by.

 

There is a lady at my church who was a professor of sewing at a local community college for many years.  She is probably 85 or so now.  But wow, she was an EXPERT.  Her degree was in home ec with a sewing emphasis.  I'm not sure that's even a degree anymore.

 

I am 60 and have never attended or even visited an elementary or middle school that had a kitchen classroom, a sewing classroom, or a shop classroom available.  Not one.  There are some high schools that have a shop of some sort but that is it.  I took the one textile oriented class in my (large) high school curriculum that was available, and the most sophisticated equipment we got to use was a frame loom for making Ojibway bags, a frame for stretcher embroidery, and a crochet hook.  IIRC there were a couple of table looms that you could try if you already knew how to use them and supplied your own yarns, but that was not part of the curriculum.  It takes up a lot of room and effort to install and maintain shop or sewing or cooking equipment, and I think the schools were glad to be out from under that need.  

 

The middle school I attended was built in the early 1900s.  It had a sewing classroom, a kitchen classroom, and a shop room.  Our classes weren't segregated but I can't recall if they were all required or not. In our sewing class we each had our own sewing machine to work on, and for our final project I made a tunic that buttoned up the front and a pair of leggings. I only wore the outfit once because the tunic came out a little crooked.  I can't remember what we made in our cooking class, but I do remember working in groups and having to follow a recipe.  And in shop class I made a baseball bat out of a piece of wood, among other things.  This was in the early 1990s.  I thought these classes were fun but I didn't realize how rare it was to have the equipment and setup that we had there.  I bet those rooms have been repurposed by now and these classes are no longer offered, which makes me sad. 
 


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#190 frogger

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:41 AM

It's funny how someone mentioning building cities to be more people friendly allowing people to get around turns into they are going to steal MY car and force me to walk by murderers, rapists, and thieves.

Listen, you can ride in your car all you want. No one is going to force you to use the sidewalk just because one was built. No one is going to strap a fit bit to you and make you take so many steps on a sidewalk or trail just because it's there. Just please don't run over the rest of us while you are at it.
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#191 Amira

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:44 AM

I don’t think anyone should have to live in a neighborhood where they don’t feel safe (and I wish we would do more to make that a reality instead of an option that’s only available to people with enough money to choose where they live), but we’ve been able to find secure, walkable neighborhoods in various US cities. We usually live overseas, but I rarely drove when we lived in Seattle, Salt Lake, or the DC suburbs. But that means we chose to live in apartments in all of those cities. We give up land and square footage for the walkabilty, not the safety. We’ll be back in the same DC apartment this summer without a car and we’ll still eat and I won’t be in any more danger than if I lived in a less walkable part of the suburbs. Probably less danger, since walking improves health and driving a car is one of the most risky everyday things Americans do.

I’m not necessarily opposed to well-crafted sugar taxes though. Even Mexico’s relatively low sugar tax has decreased consumption of sugary drinks, although it will be a while before we know if any of these sugar taxes make a difference in public health. https://www.theguard...nd-year-running

Edited by Amira, 14 February 2018 - 02:57 AM.

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#192 Amira

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:06 AM

But even though I don’t necessarily oppose sugar taxes, I think that limiting choices for SNAP recipients is a bad idea in every way. Especially when the replacement would be a standard box of shelf stable foods that isn’t adjusted for the time constraints, kitchen facilities, and food cultures of the recipients. If your favorite sugary drink cost a little more, there are plenty of other choices that don’t cost as much, no matter how you’re paying for it. But if you’re getting a box of white flour, cornflakes, peanut butter, and shelf stable milk for the “typical” American family rather than several hundred dollars, well, your choices are severely limited and quite possibly in a way that harms your family’s health. And can you imagine what companies would do to make sure their products went into the box?
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#193 MBM

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 06:15 AM

Chicago’s violence is serious enough to put into place the Safe Passages Routes for students walking to school. They are walked by trained adults whose responsibility is to help protect them from violence.

http://www.chicagotr...-htmlstory.html

In summer many of these kids don’t go out to play much because of neighborhood gang violence. Very sad.

We didn’t own a car for 10 years and use our current car infrequently. I probably walk 5-6 miles per day just running errands. My husband bikes a lot, sometimes 30-50 miles and the occasional century. We don’t have problems fitting in exercise. I can see, though, how people living in areas of higher crime might opt to not walk.
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#194 Sneezyone

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:15 AM

Good grief, what is with the Chicago obsession? There are hundreds of major metros in America with a million people or more and at least 10 cities over a million. Most are not Chicago. One can't just assume its problems exist in cities nationwide.


Edited by Sneezyone, 14 February 2018 - 07:16 AM.

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#195 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:20 AM

I KNOW it doesn't work for everyone, esp since I have a "thin as a rail and eats extremely healthy foods" younger than me friend/co-worker who has Type II diabetes (and beat bc), but diet can help at least with diabetes.  My whole extended family has it and is extremely overweight eating essentially a "wrong" diet (few fruits or veggies and a lot of plain white bread or similar).  I saw that in my youth and opted to pay attention to the "better for avoiding diabetes" diets (mostly, I still allow one regular sugar caffeinated soda per day, though will stop when blood numbers tell me to).  I have yet to get it, but have remained "borderline" since my teens (prior to soda which was introduced by a college roomie).

 

My mom's diabetes numbers went to 100% better (stop the injected insulin) once she found out she had cancer and cancer feeds on sugars, so adjusted her diet majorly.  She "got" her Type II diabetes when pregnant with me (or so she says - no reason to disbelieve her).

 

I had thought I was genetically doomed with it coming from everyone on my mom and dad's side.  Now I'm really thinking ours is mostly caused by diet (and a susceptibility genetically for it).  My own kids were raised with soda, but have opted to go even farther than me and stay away from that too.  Yea for them!

 

None of us are health food fanatics.  We all have the occasional splurge "just because" or when we are out with others, but having our regular diet being mostly healthy seems to make a ton of difference health-wise with diabetes.

 

Same exact thing happened when my mother got cancer.  I don't buy the "feeds on sugars" thing, BUT she adjusted her diet...not to mention she didn't eat nearly as much being sick from treatments.  She was able to go completely off diabetes meds after being on them for many many years. 

 

I don't know that it is caused by diet.  That I don't think is clear.  I can control things with diet, but if I stopped...where would I be at?  The attitude of my sister (and my dad for that matter) is since one can't help getting diabetes, why bother trying to control it with diet since they can't cure it.  (I wish I were kidding.)  I do get that it is not easy to forgo many foods though.  That is understandable. 
 


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#196 Heigh Ho

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:47 AM

It's funny how someone mentioning building cities to be more people friendly allowing people to get around turns into they are going to steal MY car and force me to walk by murderers, rapists, and thieves.

Listen, you can ride in your car all you want. No one is going to force you to use the sidewalk just because one was built. No one is going to strap a fit bit to you and make you take so many steps on a sidewalk or trail just because it's there. Just please don't run over the rest o while you are at it.

 

They are talking reality.  I went to NYC last week for medical..first thing I did in prep was look up the slashing reports, then plan my route and time for safety.  I got lucky.  Out here rural, people don't walk in town any more, the cross country team is all that's left and they have a mandatory safety protocol that includes PD sweeping their route before and during....the issue for all is the scofflaws, the mentally ill stalkers, and the opiod thieves/users. The town is walkable for those who can manage sidewalks that aren't smooth if they don't fit the prey profie..mostly that's older men walking and college men running  while the school team is out..you don't see the women or dc out any more unaccompanied.  Right now we've got opiod thief activity all over...apparently pawn shops have lists and these people are robbing to order.  If I go up to my son's suburb though, the whole place is walkable and the ladies are out in force.  The people in the neighborhood make a place walkable far more than anything else. 

 

I don't believe I should have to move. I've been here 25 years, the town has been here over 100 years.  It was a safe place, lovely for children and the elderly until the last ten years, and that's due to a very small amount of people ignoring zoning laws (putting high traffic group homes and businesses in residential neighborhoods), the mentally ill, and the criminal.


Edited by Heigh Ho, 14 February 2018 - 08:00 AM.

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#197 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:49 AM

I do understand being afraid to walk alone through some cities. I live in such a place.  I would walk during the day no problem, but at night, no probably not.  And in winter this is problematic since the days are so short.  What I find especially annoying in winter is how most of the sidewalks are covered in sheets of ice.  It's a death wish.  I wouldn't let my kid walk to the park the other day because there was too much ice. 

 

So really it's not fair to crap on people for what they are or are not comfortable with. 


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#198 MBM

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:07 AM

Good grief, what is with the Chicago obsession? There are hundreds of major metros in America with a million people or more and at least 10 cities over a million. Most are not Chicago. One can't just assume its problems exist in cities nationwide.


It’s in response to those who were dismissing a poster’s safety concerns about walking in her city in Canada at night. I mentioned Chicago, NYC and a suburb of about 80,000, places I know personally, and used examples to illustrate how others might not feel safe walking around their homes.

Plenty of smaller communities deal with similar issues as well. My former reservation town, population 3,000, and surrounding towns have serious crimes now, mostly drug-related, especially after the oil industry moved into the areas. I have friends and relatives who no longer allow their children to roam freely as a result. So safety issues can affect decisions people make in the smaller towns as well.
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#199 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:12 AM

Oddly I feel less worried in major cities.  Maybe because there are almost always SOME people around.  In a smaller city, no not necessarily.

 

 


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#200 creekland

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:13 AM

Lots of people choose to live out in the country because they have different priorities.

 

This is us.  We have crowd allergies.  I love living out on our farm with just a few neighbors around - really, really good neighbors at that.  When we snowbird, I want a condo on the beach that is in walkable territory, but since we aren't wealthy, I suspect we'll have to settle for "good enough."  Time will tell.

 

BUT, even living rural, we average 5 miles per day walking (10,000 steps - and my phone doesn't count most inside my house).  We have our own 1.5 mile route - or can choose a couple of other options.  It's gorgeous, peaceful scenery (for us anyway).  I don't care to exchange it for city walking - even a small city like where my mom lives.

 

It also takes me less time to get places (grocery, post office, school/work) than it did when we lived in St Pete, FL.  The traffic there slowed us down considerably - traffic lights slow folks down even when there aren't other cars.

 

Good grief, what is with the Chicago obsession? There are hundreds of major metros in America with a million people or more and at least 10 cities over a million. Most are not Chicago. One can't just assume its problems exist in cities nationwide.

 

It's not just Chicago.  When I had my daily "stuff" going on in Baltimore (Johns Hopkins) I was warned by everyone not to walk between the hospital and a motel we sometimes stayed at.  The motel provided a free shuttle service.  Being the stubborn self I am, I walked anyway - several days - in Feb, and sometimes was followed by the shuttle driver in his shuttle when he didn't have other passengers to ferry.  He outright told me he wanted to be sure I was safe even if I wanted the exercise.  He lived in the area.  This was during the daytime.  I can't imagine what it would be like at night.  I didn't venture out at night - no need.

 

I'm glad some think it's safe to walk anywhere, anytime, at night or otherwise, but even though I'm bolder than many, I respect crime reports that suggest differently (when they do - we walked in Amman, Jordan at night with no fear whatsoever - it all depends upon the place).


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