To say the chart above is startling is an understatement. The date in the "before" map is not 1935, or even 1975 -- you're looking at the spread of obesity in the time since THE SIMPSONS have been on TV.
That, my friends, is an epidemic.
Research proves that sprawl is significantly associated with inactivity and obesity, now perhaps the nation's foremost public health menace. The results of overweight and obesity include increased coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, liver and Gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility). Research also shows that walkable neighborhoods and transit improve fitness and the health of communities. Sure sounds important to me.