The suburbs make you fat, more researchers conclude

Date:June 7, 2004 / year-entry #224
Orig Link:
Comments:    12
Summary:Two legs good - four wheels bad. (With apologies to George Orwell.) Researchers link increase car use with obesity. Each hour spent in a car was associated with a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of obesity and each half-mile walked per day reduced those odds by nearly 5 percent, the researchers found. A study...

Two legs good - four wheels bad. (With apologies to George Orwell.)

Researchers link increase car use with obesity.

Each hour spent in a car was associated with a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of obesity and each half-mile walked per day reduced those odds by nearly 5 percent, the researchers found.

A study last year came to a similar conclusion. Good to know that quality research yields quality results.

Comments (12)
  1. Brendan says:

    This is actually a bit of a tough choice: Obesity vs higher cost of living.

    I live an hour away from where I work and enjoy a traffic free commute each day. Part of the reason I do not move closer to my place of work is because I rather enjoy my commutes, but more so… even with the increased amount of money spent on gas, oil changes, tires and such… it is less expensive for me to live at such a distance (and this is in South Dakota).

  2. Danny Howard says:

    Well, health care costs will add to your suburban cost of living. And those are skyrocketing faster than gasoline prices.

    City living is fairly inexpensive, IMO, compared to suburbs.

  3. Higher cost of living is relative. I used to live 7 minutes (walking) from my job, then moved to the ‘burbs. That added around 1.5 hours each day to my commute. This meant my work week increased by a total of 7.5 hours per week for the same about of money. I basically took a 20% pay cut. That didn’t last long, though, and I moved back to civilization.

  4. Raymond Chen says:

    Hm, on rereading, my last sentence didn’t come out quite the way I intended. I was actually making fun of the first research effort, since it was conducted by an anti-suburb organization. No wonder their results came out the way they did…

  5. runtime says:

    Did the study show causation? Are drivers more likely to be fat OR are fat people more like to drive?

  6. Mom's Revenge says:

    A third possibility is that there is a third agent, let’s call it "foo" that causes both driving and obesity. All foo people raise their hands, please.

  7. ATZ Man says:

    There could be a combination of factors involved. Look just at the driving activity. On the one hand, while driving you barely move. Worst case, you have a one-hour commute on something like the Bayshore Fwy (101 in Bay Area, Northern Calif), where you don’t even have to steer that much because you’re only going 20 MPH (never lived there but frequent visitor). Best case, your one-hour commute is nerve-wracking 75 MPH bumper-chasing. That would be sedentary, but the nervousness of it must expend some calories. People who commute from outlying areas do so for a variety of reasons, but the fact that houses are cheaper the further from a job you are is hard to get around. If there is a correlation between income and obesity then there could be an indirect link between driving a long way to your job and obesity.

    There certainly is a movement out there that wants us all living in high density housing (close to our jobs if telecommuting is not an option) in order to reduce pressure to develop raw land for housing and transit. It would take Singaporean planning to bring that movement to fruition.

  8. Jeff Key says:

    Anti-suburb organization? Where do I sign up?

  9. Suburbs don’t make you fat. TV does, especially combined with snacking. Actually, in larger home there is much more space for excersice equipment than condo or apartment. People just don’t want to use it. Channel surfing prevail.

    Replace sofa in from of your TV by treadmill. I did. I only watch TV when walking on the treadmill.

  10. KC Lemson says:

    I live about 1000 feet from the building in which I work. Yet I drive to work every day, because I drop off & pick up my son (plus you never know if there will be an emergency and you need to drive somewhere quickly such as the hospital).

    Yet I know there are people who think I should drive him to daycare, drop the car off at home, and then walk. Ahhh, to have ideals…

    And the whole idea of ‘anti-suburb’ organizations makes me laugh. If I hear someone complain about "suburban sprawl" one more time… I’ll um, tell them to find something better to do.

    On the subject of worthwhile research, I remember reading about a study a while back that studied the flow of ketchup. So I went to google to dig it up:

  11. Florian says:

    There’s no hope as long as we see things like this:

  12. Raymond Chen says:

    Commenting on this entry has been closed.

Comments are closed.

*DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THIS CONTENT. If you are the owner and would like it removed, please contact me. The content herein is an archived reproduction of entries from Raymond Chen's "Old New Thing" Blog (most recent link is here). It may have slight formatting modifications for consistency and to improve readability.

WHY DID I DUPLICATE THIS CONTENT HERE? Let me first say this site has never had anything to sell and has never shown ads of any kind. I have nothing monetarily to gain by duplicating content here. Because I had made my own local copy of this content throughout the years, for ease of using tools like grep, I decided to put it online after I discovered some of the original content previously and publicly available, had disappeared approximately early to mid 2019. At the same time, I present the content in an easily accessible theme-agnostic way.

The information provided by Raymond's blog is, for all practical purposes, more authoritative on Windows Development than Microsoft's own MSDN documentation and should be considered supplemental reading to that documentation. The wealth of missing details provided by this blog that Microsoft could not or did not document about Windows over the years is vital enough, many would agree an online "backup" of these details is a necessary endeavor. Specifics include:

<-- Back to Old New Thing Archive Index