Thursday, August 19, 2004

Doctor warns cities making us sick

A Sydney public health specialist says the number of people with obesity and depression will continue to rise unless the design of Australian cities changes.

About 1,000 people move into Sydney every week and Tony Capon from the Western Sydney Area Health Service predicts the health of people living there and in other Australian cities will deteriorate because the infrastructure does not encourage physical activity.

"The most important cause of our sedentary lifestyles is the lack of transport options beyond the motor vehicle," Dr Capon said.

He says the poor air quality in car-reliant cities also means people with asthma will get worse and urgent action is needed.

"Over the last few decades in Australia we've seen inexorable increases in life expectancy," Dr Capon said.

"With these new epidemics that we're confronting, it's likely that we have seen the peak in life expectancy in Australia."

Dr Capon's recommendations include building more sports facilities and expanding the public transport system.

By Diesel And Petrol 19 August 04


Petrol stations linked to leukaemia
Living near a petrol station may quadruple the risk of acute leukaemia in children, according to fresh research.