August 29, 2003
Re: Obesity and Sprawl
Posted by John Hood at 7:37 PM
You know, I'm coming around to the idea of correlation equalling causality. This could come in handy. For example, virtually everyone who has read "The Locker Room" in the past week is still alive. It's a striking correlation.
So we could run a promo:
"John Locke Foundation Bloggers: Exposing Truth and Saving Lives Since August 2003!"
I see the sprawl problem now
Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:18 PM
There it is! "Sitting on my half acre."
You can't sit on a half-acre if you don't have a half-acre to sit on. Sitting leads to being sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity. It all makes sense now!
Clearly we need government to save us from ourselves. After all, Winston Smith lived in government housing, and he did exercises every morning!
more on obesity and sprawl
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 2:17 PM
As Jenna Ashley notes the Smart Growth America study shows only a tiny difference in "expected weight" in counties with lower density (pejoratively called sprawl) and more congested, higher density living arrangements. Among NC’s 3 major metropolitan areas the difference between “expected weight” of a person in the least dense county (Yadkin) and the most dense county (Durham) is 10.4 ounces (you read that correctly). In the Triangle the difference between Franklin and Wake Counties (least and most dense), is 6 ounces. There are similarly tiny differences in other "links." For example, the probability of having high blood pressure in Franklin County is 7/10ths of one percent higher than in Wake County and 9/10ths percent higher for obesity. While the Raleigh News and Observer claims the study adjusted for income, an important factor (poorer people tend to be more obese), the study actually adjusted for education, which it used as a proxy for income. This is suspicious, since income data is readily available and should not require a proxy. As Professor Wendell Cox, noted demographer and transportation policy analyst points out, if the impact of household income were included in the study it "could have negated the results."
re: sprawl and obesity
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 1:28 PM
Sam Staley at the Buckeye Institute summed in up in an article in today’s Washington Post.
“What this is saying to me, sitting on my half-acre with my kids playing outside and riding their bikes, is that if I want to reduce my hypertension and lose a couple of pounds, do I want to give up my house, or do I want to go to McDonald's less?" said Staley. "There are small changes in behavior that can get the same outcomes."
Re: Sprawl and obsesity
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:13 AM
That report is pitiful. Correlation doesn't mean causation. Otherwise, telephones "cause" heart disease (you should see the correlation!).
I've never understood the left's problem with "sprawl" anyway. Talk about inventing a problem out of something good -- we have plenty of room to grow.
It's tempting to think the governing reason behind the "sprawl" complaint is: If X happens in America, then X must be bad; find a way to badmouth X.
Sprawl and Obesity
Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 09:30 AM
A recent study released by Smart Growth America suggests that sprawl causes obesity.
In the triangle, however, the study found only half a pound difference between weights in the most and least dense areas. Wow, that much.
More importantly, if I would rather risk obesity and live in the suburbs than lose a few pounds and live in the crowded, congested city center, it's my choice.
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