Designed to curb obesity

Here’s my latest article on school design and obesity published by School Planning & Management Magazine (June 2011 issue).
Traditional school design has focused on creating a “culture of convenience” that minimizes travel times between classes. In a scramble to accommodate schedules, facilities were designed in tight-knit spaces that hindered any physical movement among children. Designing spaces that help curb obesity in school children is one of the toughest school design issues at hand. Most will agree that there is a lot of head nodding out there regarding this topic but not a lot of implementation. Complete article is available here.

Death in the time of obesity: Heart Attack Grill

The recent death of Blair River (29), spokesperson for Heart Attack Grill makes me wonder if  we are indeed a “developed” society. I think we owe moral responsibility for what happened to Blair. We knew he was obese but in the name of “privacy,” “individual choices,” “free market,” the “triumph of capitalism,” and “pursuit of happiness,” we kept quiet. We didn’t give Blair a chance, instead, we encouraged him.

The mock ambulance outside Heart Attack Grill in Chandler is a testimony to this society’s ills. What Blair leaves behind is a little girl in a society that in many ways is backward.