Latest Surgeon General's Warning: Your Neighborhood?

In the interest of public health, the Surgeon General has issued warnings about vices including cigarettes and alcohol. But what does the nation's top doctor have to say about the neighborhood you live in? Should poorly designed communities that discourage walking, social interaction and accessibility come with a similar warning?

That's a question raised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a new report that lends considerable weight to the case for creating walkable, sustainable communities.

You might not get cancer from it, but the fact is, the community you live in can affect your physical and mental health. Many of the chronic diseases that the CDC deals with -- such as asthma, obesity, diabetes and depression -- have been linked to poor neighborhood design. These diseases also contribute mightily to the nation's soaring healthcare costs. That's why the CDC has been turning its attention to issues that are typically the domain of developers, architects and city planners.