Our cities are making us fat and unhealthy – a ‘healthy location index’ can help us plan better
Senior lecturer Matthew Hobbs and post doctoral fellow Lukas Marek explain how the Health Location Index works and how it can help build our future cities on The Conversation.
Photo by Kishan Modi
The Healthy Location Index (HLI) breaks down healthy and unhealthy elements in cities across New Zealand. It offers important lessons for how we plan and modify our cities to increase physical activity levels and tackle important issues such as obesity and mental health.
New Zealand has one of the highest numbers of adults living with obesity in the world and the rates are not improving. Data from 2021 showed a substantial increase in both childhood and adult obesity from the previous year.
Obesity is a major public health concern that is estimated to be responsible for approximately 5% of all global deaths annually. The global economic impact of obesity is estimated at roughly US$2 trillion or 2.8% of global GDP.