BOSTON - Biking groups in Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester are working on creating biking communities in an effort to make their neighborhoods healthier.
Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester have the highest rates of obesity, the least access to fresh foods and vegetables, and the fewest options for exercise in the city, according to the Boston City Department of Health.
On average, 21 percent of Bostonians are considered obese, according to numbers compiled by Tufts University and Medical Center in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health.. The data also shows that communities of color are well above that average with 28 percent of adults in Dorchester 29 percent of adults in Roxbury considered obese. Mattapan has the highest rate of obesity at 37 percent.
"Doing something as easy or simple as biking will help reduce the obesity rate in our communities," said Michelle Cook, founder of “Black Girls Who Bike.”
There are currently seven community biking groups that teach people how to bike and go on bike rides together.
"In Mattapan and Dorchester, it's started to clean up the neighborhood because people are coming together and seeing there's a group of cyclists; it's not just people rising around. It's people bonding together," said Alex Gordon, from the "Mattapan on Wheels"group.
There is also an initiative encouraging the addition of bike lanes and Hubway stations to the area. The company behind Hubway hasn't pledged to put stations in the heart of those neighborhoods yet.
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