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Public Weight Loss Failure for Toronto’s Anti-Bike Mayor

1:17 PM EDT on June 27, 2012

This is sorta hard to watch. Above is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford very publicly failing in his goal to lose 50 pounds, and falling off the scale and injuring his ankle to boot.

Ford began the Cut the Waist charity challenge at a formidable 330 pounds. According to Atlantic Cities, he quickly dropped 20 pounds, then suffered a relapse of sorts, as evidenced by this embarrassing video of him going to KFC when he was supposed to be dieting. Ford ended the challenge at a still robust, but improved, 313 pounds.

Now, it's Ford's prerogative to eat fast food, and his physical fitness is no reflection on his fitness to govern. But his frustration over losing weight begs the question of why he's been so vociferously opposed to one of the best ways to get fit: riding a bike.

Ford has been a strident opponent of active transportation in Canada's largest city. He took office declaring, "The war on the car is over," as if it had ever begun, and commenced his war on transit. And Ford, who famously testified "cyclists are a pain in the ass," has, since he took office in 2010, presided over the removal of a handful of bike lanes -- making Toronto something of an anomaly among North American cities.

I guess this has been suggested to Ford before, but maybe riding a bike here and there could help him in his own personal struggle with his weight? Cyclists lose an average of 13 pounds their first year commuting to work, according to oft-cited studies. And he's not alone -- a lot of people in Toronto struggle with their weight. So why is he throwing up barriers to healthy choices?

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