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March 8, 2012

THE DIRT

Dr. Richard Jackson, Professor and Chair of Environment Health Sciences, UCLA, said the built environment in the U.S. was designed in a way that is “fundamentally unhealthy” in a talk at the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. The environment is now making it difficult for people to achieve well-being. It’s getting so bad that this generation growing up may be the first in American history that has “a shorter life span than their parents.” Communities have to be redesigned to “make us all healthier – young or old.”

Host of the new four-hour PBS series Designing Healthy Communities, author of the series’ companion book, and co-author of a more in-depth text book, Dr. Jackson knows what he’s talking about. Primary care doctors, he said, are now inundated with young, overweight, depressed patients. These kids are sent to weight loss programs, told not to watch TV, and drink less soda, but they can’t…

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