London: Dump your car and head for the Metro, for it not only helps you save the traffic trauma, but also to shed the pounds and keep you trim, so claim researchers, who have discovered that public transportation increases physical activity to such an extent, that an average person drops more than six pounds in a year.
According to a news daily, a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the RAND Corporation, found that construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in increased physical activity (walking) and subsequent weight loss by people served by the LRT.
“An added benefit of public policy investments in LRT, on top of the general transportation benefits accrued, is the potential reductions in obesity in the population," the paper quoted lead author Dr MacDonald, as saying in his study.
The new research based on two surveys, one collecting data prior to the completion of an LRT in Charlotte, North Carolina, the second after completion, found that using light rail for commuting was associated with reductions in ‘Body Mass Index’ (BMI) over time.
This is equivalent to a relative weight loss of 6.45 lbs for a person who is 5`5. LRT users were also 81 percent less likely to become obese over time, the study revealed.