Robert Ivy: Master Architect Battles Obesity Epidemic

Robert Ivy is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects and he thinks architects may be able to offer part of the solution to the obesity epidemic. When it comes to children in the United States, 17 percent of them are obese. Just a generation ago this alarming statistic was 3 times less. About 10 percent of our population is diabetic and another 8 million haven’t been diagnosed. Overall 69 percent of people in the US are overweight with 35 percent of that being obese. These statistics are exceptionally troubling and we need things to change with the help of anyone who can.
 
Obesity and the subsequent chronic disease that comes with it is caused mainly by the simple facts that most Americans don’t exercise enough and don’t have access to affordable, healthy food, according to Robert Ivy on bizjournals.com. Architects could change the nation by changing the infrastructure of the United States to encourage people to get out and move more.
 
One of the ways this is being done is by creating more park spaces in urban areas like with New York City’s High Line. Once just black steel columns that used to support train tracks jutting into the skyline, it is now an elevated park that goes through the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea. With breathtaking views of the Hudson, High Line is not only a spot for locals to walk and exercise, it’s almost a popular tourist destination.
 
In the case of Cleveland, Ohio, MetroHealth Medical Center is working with the community to make healthier foods more accessible and to make healthy choices a priority. The medical center is renovating the parks, fitness centers, and bike trails around their campus to encourage exercise. They are wanting to make health care a community initiative by making the center home of seminars, clinics, and even music festivals along with traditional in-patient care.
 
Robert Ivy has been the CEO of the American Institute of Architects since 2011. The AIA currently has over 89,000 members. He is a graduate of Tulane University with a Masters in Architecture. In 1996, he was hired as the Editor in Chief of the Architectural Record at Mcgraw-Hill. Robert Ivy also holds a membership in the International Circle of Architecture Critics and has been a board member of the American Architecture Foundation and the American Institute of Architects before he became the Chief Executive Officer.
 
The award-winning Robert Ivy received the Crane Award in 2009, which is the highest recognition one can receive from the American Business Media. He is a Master Architect, as decided by the architectural fraternity Alpha Rho Chi.

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