I saw this interesting article from the NY Times‘ health section: a study shows that residents of older neighborhoods (e.g., ones that were built decades ago) are less likely to gain weight. It points to the fact that you can walk to places – like stores – in older neighborhoods.
I grew up in an older town that had a main street several blocks from my house. As kids, we used to walk down to “town” or ride our bikes there. Of course, we were going to town looking for candy, but at least we were getting out and walking towards it instead of having mom drive us to it.