Since 2003, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been helping to orchestrate a comprehensive attack on obesity in metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky, where The New York Times reports that over 60 percent of the population is "still considered overweight."
“For businesses, a healthy work force is more productive and less costly, so it became a competitiveness issue,” former mayor Jerry Abramson told the paper.
The Times says:
"Today, sidewalks in downtown Louisville bear labeled routes of exactly a mile to encourage walking. Bicycle lanes line streets, whose lights have countdown mechanisms to enhance rider and pedestrian safety.
"The Transit Authority of River City has added bike racks to its buses and is working to better link bus routes to its Frederick Law Olmsted parkways, which in turn are being connected to a 100-mile walking and biking loop around the city that has attracted more than $100 million in federal and private money.
"Robert Wood Johnson’s money also has drawn in other nonprofit players. The YMCA of Greater Louisville, for example, is helping corner store owners in low-income neighborhoods to add fresh fruits and vegetables to their product mix."
"... the redevelopment of a low-income housing project included small 'pocket' parks, improved traffic patterns and wider and safer sidewalks."
“'The changes to our physical and social environments that have contributed to the epidemic were gradual and have had decades to gain momentum,' said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 'We have to expect that this won’t be a quick fix.'”