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Welcome - my name is Kevin Klinkenberg, and this site "The Messy City" is my blog and company website. I started blogging on urban planning and design issues in 2007, and began working in the field in 1993. Please feel free to connect with me on any of the social media sites listed here. Thanks for reading.

Why are we so fat?

Today's quick interlude comes from an info graphic at The info and piece focuses mostly on how much money (as a percentage of income) that Americans spend on food relative to other countries. For me, the more interesting information is a comparison of the average caloric intake of Americans vs other countries. You see, we really don't eat that many more calories on average than Italians, Germans, or others. And yet, we are far more obese. I've no doubt that food quality plays a small role in this, as some of the piece argues. But the real truth is quite simple - we spend  far more time sitting on our butts, whether in our homes or in cars. While people in other countries walk regularly as a part of their daily routine, we routinely use a machine to get us from place to place. And why do we do this? Are we really any lazier than others? Of course not. We do so because our communities have been consciously designed for automobile travel, instead of true freedom of personal mobility. In most places, if you want to walk to the store, the park, the school or more, it is either impossible, inconvenient or uninteresting to do so. And so, we drive. This blog focuses on how we can change this facet of American life.

Link to the article and cool graphics below:

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What Traffic Engineering and Retail Analysis have in common (or My rules are better than your rules)

Resolutions for America - 2012 edition

Resolutions for America - 2012 edition